SIA invests in inflight technology

SIA invests in inflight technology

Singapore Airlines has signed a $400 million agreement with Panasonic to fit 40 new aircraft with Avionics for advanced in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) systems.

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 A350s, as well as the first to deliver eX3 features on the B777-300ERs.

In addition, SIA’s eX3 system will be the first to offer Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite on the A350s, 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.

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.

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“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.

Ahead of the introduction of the new systems, enhancements are planned for existing KrisWorld systems on SIA’s aircraft. These will include a wider program 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 $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 aircrafts have been equipped to date.