Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, have signed an agreement for the installation of the Astrova seat-end solution on up to 30 of its aircraft.
The Astrova seatback IFE solution will cover a retrofit on 30 of SAUDIA’s widebody aircraft fleet – 12 Airbus A330s and 18 Boeing 777s.
Through this partnership, Astrova will help create a fully immersive experience for SAUDIA’s guests, with industry-leading 4K OLED screens that have the high-definition capability available, ensuring the best picture quality coupled with high-quality audio delivered by Panasonic Avionics’ latest Bluetooth technology.
Screens sizes have not been defined, although Astrova scales from 13″ to 42″, depending on the requirement.
Every passenger will have up to 100 W of direct current power, via USB-C, at their seat – providing the ability to fast charge every current phone and tablet, and around 90 per cent of the world’s laptops.
Panasonic Avionics’ newest IFE seat-end solution also features programmable LED lighting that will enhance the passenger experience and enable SAUDIA to optimize the cabin environment.
The other benefit is that these screens are a lot lighter – allowing for significant weight saving, which will help reduce fuel burn.
Additionally, Panasonic Avionics is working with SAUDIA to develop IFE maintenance capabilities in the Kingdom with its leading Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI).
Working with SAEI, Panasonic Avionics will contribute to the Kingdom and SAUDIA’s localization objectives by enhancing SAEI’s repair capabilities, training its technicians and introducing state-of-the-art technology.
Ken Sain, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said:
“We are delighted to sign this agreement with our longstanding customer, SAUDIA. The installation of Astrova on their wide-body fleet indicates the airline’s commitment not only to sustainability, but also to its customers and the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.
“Astrova provides SAUDIA with an innovative IFE solution that will enhance engagement with its passengers and is easy to upgrade without full or costly interior changes.”
His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of SAUDIA Group, said:
“At SAUDIA, we are constantly looking to improve the guest experience onboard our aircraft, by investing in new technologies and upgrading our systems. Thanks to this partnership with Astrova, our guests will be able to experience the best of in-flight entertainment, with more personalizable features, making their journey with us truly memorable.”
“As SAEI expands, their commitment to localization continues to grow as they collaborate with several companies to enhance the capabilities of their technicians. Panasonic Avionics’ work with SAEI will be instrumental to the local market, as it will open up jobs for Saudis while providing repair capabilities not only in the Kingdom but to the MENA region as a whole. In addition, this partnership contributes to the Nartaqi program, which is an initiative by SAUDIA aimed at driving localization by supporting the greater use of local suppliers and local businesses whilst providing quality jobs, training and development opportunities for Saudi nationals.”
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