Panasonic Avionic have tied another deal – this time with Lufthansa for the supply of Inflight Entertainment hardware for their Boeing 747-8 fleet.
Lufthansa Boeing 747-8i climbing out of Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Image, Economy Class and Beyond
Panasonic Avionics has been selected by Lufthansa to provide its NEXT in-flight entertainment (IFE) system and enhanced connectivity solutions for the carrier’s flagship Boeing 747-8 fleet.
Panasonic Avionics’ NEXT IFE system will be retrofitted on Lufthansa’s 19 Boeing 747-8s, with the first due to be rolled out in summer 2024.
This higher performance system will provide Lufthansa’s passengers with an immersive cinematic experience using the latest 4K screen technology, with faster network speeds and higher storage capacity.
There will be differences in the classes of travel in what you’ll experience. Business Class passengers will enjoy an enhanced IFE experience with up to 24-inch 4K screens, a large 10-inch additional control unit, high power USB–A / USB-C, AC power and wireless charging capabilities.
Meanwhile, in Premium Economy, passengers will experience an upgraded 16-inch 4K screen with high power USB-A and USB-C charging.
Finally, in Economy Class, there will be a 13-inch 4K screen with high power USB-A and USB-C charging.
The companies also announced the renewal of connectivity services offered by Panasonic Avionics. Broadband connectivity, which is already installed on Lufthansa widebody aircraft, uses Panasonic Avionics’ global network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites to live up to the connectivity expectations of Lufthansa’s passengers. Mobile phone connectivity will also be upgraded to 4G speeds on Lufthansa’s 747-8 aircraft.
Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said,
“We are delighted to be partnering once again with Lufthansa with this upgrade of the passenger experience on their flagship long-haul fleet. Introducing our NEXT Series and latest generation connectivity on board this world-class airline will help drive greater passenger loyalty and add value to their brand.”
Paul Estoppey, Head of Product Management Cabin at Lufthansa Group, said:
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Panasonic Avionics again. Our Boeing 747-8s are an integral part of our long-haul fleet, and we’re confident that this investment in Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight entertainment will be popular with our passengers.”
With this deployment, little step changes are occurring – screens and hardware are still being delivered to aircraft to give the most comfortable screen (depending on travel class).
We’re also seeing a shift – as USB-C outlet adoption in devices has become more widespread (for example in smartphones, peripherals and the burgeoning movement of laptops to charge at USB-C), airlines are choosing to pass over the traditional mains outlet and choosing a USB-C connector instead in Premium Economy and Economy Class.
It’s an interesting move, which should promote smaller delivery units to provide the power over USB-C out.
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