Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation to provide the in-flight entertainment systems and connectivity across its entire long-haul fleet of wide-body aircraft.
Today (November 17, 2011), the airline’s CEO James Hogan, and Panasonic Avionic’s CEO Paul Margis, signed a letter of intent for a ten-year exclusive contract for in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) solutions, including mobile phone services in conjunction with Aeromobile.
The deal, which is currently being finalised, will include a full service maintenance contract and is valued at over US£1 billion at list prices.
The two companies plan to deploy Panasonic’s eX2 and eX3 IFEC systems on 100 new aircraft in addition to the 16 already equipped with the eX2. Further eX2 systems will be installed on Etihad’s new Airbus A380s, Boeing 787s and Boeing 777-300ERs. The new Airbus A350 will use the eX3 solution.
Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite, which provides in-flight broadband connectivity, mobile phone services and live television content, will also be installed across Etihad’s entire fleet of wide-body aircraft, both existing and due to be delivered.
Mr Hogan commented on the new deal: “It is essential that we offer the most engaging and dynamic in-flight entertainment for our guests – especially on long-haul flights. Panasonic will support Etihad Airways’ commitment to delivering a system that will enable us to stay at the leading edge in this all-important area.”