Singapore Airlines has ordered advanced in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) systems from Panasonic Avionics for more than 40 new aircraft on firm order with Airbus and Boeing.
According to Singapore Airlines, the purchase agreement is valued at nearly $400 million, based on the list prices of the systems and spares.
Under the agreement, Lake Forest, California-based Panasonic Avionics will supply IFEC systems for 20 Airbus A350-900 widebodies due for delivery from 2014, as well as for 15 more Airbus A330-300s and eight more Boeing 777-300ERs, deliveries of which are due to begin next year.
For its A350s, Singapore Airlines will be the launch customer for Panasonic Avionics’ next-generation eX3 IFEC system. Singapore Airlines will also be the firs carrier to offer eX3 features on the Boeing 777-300ER.
In addition, the eX3 system on SIA’s A350s will be the first to offer the Panasonic Global Communications Suite, which has the capability to provide broadband Internet services to passenger devices and seat-back, mobile phone services, as well as a global live television service.
The eX3 is Panasonic’s most advanced IFEC system. It will offer the latest video-screen technology and touch-screen handsets in all classes of travel, powering SIA’s KrisWorld entertainment system.
According to SIA, customers will experience higher levels of personalization with the eX3-powered KrisWorld system 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, and an innovative new touch-screen graphical user interface, the airline says.
“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,” says Tan Pee Teck, SIA’s senior vice president product & services.
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 and (possibly) hardware upgrades.
The newly signed contracts are part of a major investment program by SIA to enhance its IFE and connectivity offerings. Last week SIA formally introduced in-flight connectivity services as part of a separate $50 million investment.
Under this program, Singapore Airlines’ A340-500s, A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs are being equipped over a period of two years with wireless Internet and mobile data services, enabling customers to stay connected even at cruise altitudes. To date, the carrier has equipped 14 widebody aircraft for its new in-flight connectivity services.
Singapore Airlines’ existing KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system is powered by eX2 technology from Panasonic Avionics. The eX2 system is fitted on the airline’s A330-300s, A340-500s, A380-800s and Boeing 777-300ERs.
KrisWorld offers more than 1,000 on-demand entertainment and information options, including more than 140 movies and stage performances, 200 TV programs and nearly 800 CDs. The extensive selection also includes interactive games, audio books, hosted radio programming and a variety of learning applications.
All programs are presented on high-resolution, wide-screen LCD TVs with crystal-clear audio across all classes and the KrisWorld system employs a user-intuitive graphical user interface. Customers can play, pause, rewind and resume at their convenience at any point of a video or audio program.