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Qatar Airways joins with Thales for new research facility

Qatar Airways joins with Thales for new research facility Thales in-flight entertainment chief executive Alan Pellegrini, left, joins Qatar Foundation advisor Amir Al Saadi; Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker; French ambassador to Qatar, Jean-Christophe Peaucelle; and Thales senior vice-president Blaise Jaeger

Qatar Airways and Thales have announced the opening of a new technology research, development and training centre located at the Qatar Science and Technology Park in Doha.

The new centre has been established by Thales in collaboration with Qatar Airways under the official name, Thales QSTP-LLC. 

In the first phase of development, a Joint Innovation and Technology Project will be established to further develop in-flight entertainment solutions for Qatar’s national carrier in the heart of the airline’s hub.

Thales, which already has an office in Qatar, has been creating new generation IFE solutions since 2009 for Qatar Airways’ narrow body fleet of Airbus A320s.

The systems include touch-screen technology, with seat-back screens in Economy and arm rest screens in Business Class.

The French company will also provide revolutionary new in-flight entertainment and communication systems for the airline’s Boeing 787 aircraft, of which the first of 60 on order is scheduled for delivery this summer.

Qatar Airways is the Middle East launch customer of the Boeing 787.

Addressing guests at the official opening of the new Thales Centre today, Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said that the airline was at the forefront of developing pioneering products for its passengers and that in-flight entertainment was no exception.

“Qatar Airways always works closely with its partners to take innovation to new levels for the benefit of its valued customers,” he said.

“We are delighted to see Thales choose to open this new training centre here in Qatar helping to further strengthen the already strong partnership that exists between the two companies.

“The new centre will ensure that the development and implementation needs of Qatar Airways will be met quicker with improved timelines for content updates on our aircraft.”

In 2010 and 2011, Qatar Airways and Thales received industry awards for the revolutionary Touch Passenger Media Unit (TouchPMU), a handheld media device that out performs all in-seat handheld in-flight entertainment technologies.

Qatar Airways is recognised as offering the World’s Leading Airline Business Class by the World Travel Awards.