Continental Airlines has announced that an Audio/Video on Demand (AVOD) inflight entertainment system is now available to economy class customers on all its Boeing 757-200 aircraft.All 39 757-200s currently in service have been fitted with the system, and the remaining two aircraft are currently being retrofitted and will re-enter service by Dec. 23, 2008. The system has been available in the BusinessFirst cabins of these aircraft since early 2007. The aircraft are used primarily on trans-Atlantic flights to and from Continental’s New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The Panasonic eFX AVOD system, which features individual seatback video screens in economy class for the first time on the Boeing 757-200, allows customers to choose from up to 25 movies, 25 TV shows and 50 CDs of music of various genres. Once the system is activated by the crew, customers may watch the programming whenever they choose, controlling the programs with easy-to-use touch-screens to stop, pause, rewind and fast forward. The new entertainment system also has 20 video games and an interactive Berlitz Word Traveller program that teaches foreign language.
As part of the upgrade, AC power ports have been installed throughout the economy cabin, providing electricity for the growing number of portable electronic devices like laptop computers, personal DVD players and digital music players that customers are bringing on board. The power ports accept the standard electric plugs from most countries around the world. No special adapter is necessary. BusinessFirst seats already feature the power ports.
“Now all our customers travelling on Boeing 757-200s can choose from a wide variety of inflight entertainment options, whenever they want,” said Eric Kleiman, Continental’s director of product marketing. “They can also work or play on their laptops without worrying about their battery running out during the flight.”
Continental is also currently installing AVOD in both the BusinessFirst and economy class cabins of its Boeing 777 fleet. To date, 14 of the airline’s 20 777s have been fitted with the new system, with the entire process due to be completed by May 2009. The AVOD system on the 777 allows customers to choose from more than 250 movies, 300 TV shows and 150 CDs, with a jukebox feature to make individual playlists. The system also has 25 video games and the interactive Berlitz Word Traveller foreign language program.
In addition, for customers on flights operating within the continental United States, Continental has entered into an agreement with LiveTV that will allow Continental to offer 80 channels of live, inflight satellite-based television programming provided by DIRECTV, the nation’s leading satellite television provider, at every seat on Continental’s Boeing 737 New Generation aircraft and Boeing 757-300s. The first aircraft featuring live TV is expected to enter service in February 2009.