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In-flight entertainment & connectivity

State of the art In-Flight Entertainment

State of the art In-Flight Entertainment

All Airbus aircraft – from the single-aisle A320 Family to the versatile A330 Family, A350 XWB “Xtra Wide Body” jetliner, and double-deck A380 – can be fitted with state-of-the-art In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems offering passengers individual screens with audio and video on demand throughout the cabin with access to hundreds of high quality audio and video programmes. 

In addition, passengers can access other services such as satellite live television broadcasts, safety instructions in their own language, outside live views from landscape cameras, international news or connecting flight information. The integration of the latest generation IFE platforms into the seat preserves passengers’ legroom and also gives them the ability to connect their own Personal Electronic Devices, such as a smart phone, tablet or laptop, to the screen in their seat. 

Not only can they recharge their devices, but can complement the airline’s entertainment offer with their own content, whilst benefiting from the high quality audio headsets and viewing comfort of the larger screens available onboard.

In-Flight Connectivity, a generation beyond

To respond to the growing market demand for on-board connectivity, Airbus has developed an aircraft connectivity “platform” that delivers the full breadth of new connectivity services and that is a generation beyond any other available system.

Airbus pioneered connectivity and was the first manufacturer to receive certification for its on-board mobile phone system in June 2007. Since winter 2010, Airbus operators have been able to offer worldwide broadband connectivity services via internet and mobile telephony. The Airbus platform, called Airline Network Architecture (ALNA), is the first connectivity solution available as line fit on Airbus aircraft and can be retrofitted to Airbus and other manufacturers’ aircraft.

Thanks to this, passengers can use their own wireless communication devices such as mobile telephones, smart phones, tablet or laptops to send and receive SMS messages, e-mails with their attachments, access the internet or make and receive phone calls. Both WiFi and mobile telephony services are praised by passengers especially when travelling for business purposes. 

Cabin crew can easily manage the service and have the option of selecting a “voice-off” mode to restrict cell-phone usage to data services only (SMS, email, mobile internet). Passengers’ feedback shows the service is a tremendous success, further consolidated by the very rapidly expanding market base of the Airbus connectivity solution.

The scope of connectivity applications enables airlines to reach passengers personally in flight and to generate ancillary revenues. Thanks to its unique communication management, it also serves airline administrative and operational communications, as illustrated by crew mail, digital cabin logbook, documentation viewer, telemedicine, credit card authentication, on-board rescheduling of traveller flight connections, with more applications to be accessible wirelessly from cabin crew devices in the near future.

Airbus by far offers the most comprehensive combination of connectivity solutions with different in-flight entertainment suppliers. The A350 XWB native connectivity for instance is illustrated by its standard SBB satcom and by the unique freedom of choice it offers to customers: ALNA, Thales TopConnect (Ka Band) and Panasonic Global Communication Suite (Ku Band). 

The latest evolution

Airbus’ A350 XWB is the first jetliner to integrate fourth-generation in-flight entertainment systems from the beginning. Incorporating high-bandwidth fibre optics, high-definition video becomes a reality for all passengers on the A350 XWB, with individual seat monitors upgraded to new standards – beginning with screens of up to 12-inch in economy class.

In addition to delivering an unmatched viewing and listening experience, fourth-generation in-flight entertainment systems do away with bulky under-seat control boxes that many times block passenger legroom – while combined data and power cables are accommodated under a now-flat cabin floor.