Singapore Airlines has signed a major agreement with Panasonic Avionics for advanced in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) systems for more than 40 new aircraft on firm order with Airbus and Boeing.
The agreement is valued at nearly US$400 million, based on the list prices of the systems and spares.
Under the agreement, Panasonic Avionics will supply IFEC systems for 20 Airbus A350s due for delivery from 2014, as well as for 15 more Airbus A330-300 and eight more Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, deliveries of which are due to begin next year.
Singapore Airlines will be the launch customer for Panasonic Avionics’ next generation eX3 system for the A350 aircraft, as well as the first to deliver eX3 features on the B777-300ER aircraft. In addition, SIA’s eX3 system will be the first to offer Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite on the A350 fleet, which has the capability to provide broadband Internet services to passenger devices and the seat-back, mobile phone services, as well as a global live television service.
The eX3 is Panasonic’s most advanced IFEC system which will offer the latest video screen technology and touch-screen handsets in all classes of travel, powering the Airline’s award-winning KrisWorld entertainment system. Customers will experience higher levels of personalisation with KrisWorld providing intelligent content recommendations based on passenger ratings and preferences. Customers can expect the latest games and applications, an e-Library containing newspapers and magazines, social networking functions, as well as an innovative new touch-screen graphical user interface.
“SIA has always been a leader in providing the best in-flight entertainment to our customers but we need to constantly innovate to stay ahead of the competition. The contract with Panasonic Avionics will help us do just that,” said SIA Senior Vice President Product & Services, Mr Tan Pee Teck.
Panasonic Avionics CEO, Mr Paul Margis, added: “For many years, Singapore Airlines has been an important and valued customer for Panasonic, and we are honoured to once again have the opportunity to partner with one of the world’s leading pioneers in IFEC.”
Ahead of the introduction of the new systems, enhancements are planned for existing KrisWorld systems on SIA’s aircraft. These will include a wider programme selection, new and exclusive video games, as well as possible hardware upgrades.
The newly-signed contracts are part of a major investment programme to enhance the Airline’s IFE and connectivity offerings. Last week SIA formally introduced in-flight connectivity services as part of a separate US$50 million investment. Under this programme the Airline’s A340-500, A380-800 and B777-300ER aircraft are being equipped with wireless Internet and mobile data services over two years, enabling customers to stay connected even at 35,000ft. Fourteen aircraft have been equipped to date.
KrisWorld, Singapore Airlines’ award-winning in-flight entertainment system, is currently powered by eX2 technology from Panasonic Avionics. The eX2 system is fitted on the Airline’s A330-300, A340-500, A380-800 and B777-300ER aircraft.
It offers more than 1,000 on-demand entertainment and information options including more than 140 movies and stage performances, 200 TV programmes and nearly 800 CDs. The extensive selection also consists of interactive games, audio
books, hosted radio programming and a variety of learning applications.
All programmes are presented on high-resolution wide-screen LCD TVs with crystal clear audio across all classes. The graphical user interface makes navigating through programmes and menus a breeze. Customers can play, pause, rewind and resume at their convenience at any point of a video or audio programme.