If you take a seat on board one of Qatar Airways’ 80 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft in the coming years, the first of which is scheduled to be delivered late 2013, your in-flight entertainment and connectivity services will be supplied by the Thales TopSeries AVANT system.
Advanced technologies making up this next-generation system include high definition video, solid state hard drives and faster processors. The combination achieves new standards in the delivery of an enhanced passenger experience. Qatar Airways will be offering a comprehensive selection of entertainment programmes via touch-screen displays that ranging in size from 10.6 to 17 inches. Passengers will also be able to interface their personal electronic devices to the system allowing them to enjoy their own content through the in-seat screen.
The TopSeries AVANT system will feature 3D audio, giving the effect of high-fidelity surround sound. Work is also being done with Airbus so that Thales’s TopConnect Ka-Band solution is offerable on the A350 XWB. This will enable Qatar Airways to provide worldwide broadband connectivity at an affordable price.
Multi-tasking in the air
Qatar Airways has also selected the award-winning Thales Touch Passenger Media Unit (TouchPMU). The device brings countless applications common to the consumer world to the passenger. The unit runs the Android operating system and can be used as a complement device that enables passengers to multi-task just as they do on the ground. Qatar Airways will be the first airline in the world to offer this new product, bringing new innovation to the sky.
Qatar Airways are excited at the prospect of rolling out the TopSeries AVANT system. CEO Al Baker says that “Qatar Airways is proud to be at the forefront of adopting the latest technologies available in the aviation industry. Our A350 XWB aircraft will be equipped with the industry’s leading in-flight entertainment technology, and we look forward to showcasing it to our passengers.”
The A350 XWB deal is not the first between Thales and Qatar Airways. The airline had previously appointed Thales to provide in-flight entertainment systems for 30 of its A320 family of aircraft. Thirty Boeing 787 aircraft (along with a further 30 options), which include SwiftBroadband cabin connectivity for access to current news, sports, social networks and other mobile applications, will also be available.
- Pictures: Thales system copyright Thales/Bernard Rousseau; Qatar A350 XWB copyright Airbus SAS (Computer Rendering by Fixion - HCSGM)