Cathay Pacific Airways will be the first airline in the world to install an advanced new in-seat data system provided by US research and development company Primex Technologies. Starting next year, the system will be installed in every class and every seat of Cathay Pacific`s 56 passenger aircraft. The system makes it possible for passengers to use their laptop computers to access email and the Intranet on board. Cathay Pacific will also place an in-seat power system in all classes.
The new in-seat data system is called “EMPORT” and provides a high-speed network cabin distribution system allowing more than 200 passengers to access data at the same time. The EMPORT system communicates with the ground via a satellite connection. In Cathay Pacific`s case, the connection will be made through the Inmarsat satellite constellation which provides coverage over more than 90% of the globe.
The in-seat power system is also provided by Primex and is called “EMPOWER”. This system provides safe, reliable DC-power outlets in passenger seats. EMPOWER allows passengers to plug-in and recharge their laptop and notebook computers.
“At Cathay Pacific we are strongly committed to giving our passengers the very best in technology and inflight entertainment,” said Sarah Blomfield, Cathay Pacific`s Manager, Product. “We are therefore delighted to be the launch customer for the new EMPORT system from Primex. This will give us the ability to further enhance our inflight product with in-seat email and Intranet, as well as pursue other e-business initiatives.”
Primex Technologies` Vice President of Cabin Electronics Mark Peabody said: “It is a privilege to be selected by Cathay Pacific to participate in the next revolution in inflight entertainment. We share Cathay Pacific`s vision of providing enabling technologies to make passengers` inflight experiences more productive and enjoyable.”
Cathay Pacific will begin to install EMPORT and EMPOWER across all classes of its passenger fleet in 2001. The passenger fleet currently includes 19 Boeing 747-400s, 7 Boeing 777-300s, 4 Boeing 777-200s, 14 Airbus A340-300s, and 12 Airbus A330-300s.
Cathay Pacific provides its passengers with a wide range of inflight entertainment including movies, news programmes, documentaries, comedy, music, newspapers, and magazines. By the middle of this year it will have installed personal television sets in every seat in its long-haul fleet.
Primex Technologies has been at the leading edge of research and product development in the defence, electronics, and aerospace industries for over 100 years. The company is a unit of Primex Aerospace Corporation, based in Florida.