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Qantas has selected in-flight entertainment
system manufacturer and service provider
Panasonic to support its wireless IFE
streaming programme, dubbed QStreaming
by the carrier, despite conducting a
successful trial of the competing Lufthansa
Qantas launched a trial of BoardConnect
on a single Boeing 767 in February. The
airline acknowledges the trial, which is
ongoing, has been successful and the
airline has received "great feedback"
from its customers, but instead opted for
Panasonic s eXW wireless solution, making it
the first announced customer for Panasonic s
wireless solution. Qantas, which is already
a Panasonic IFE system customer, says eXW
was selected over BoardConnect as the
airline believes it offers more opportunities
for further development than the competing
system, without providing details.
EXW will stream over 200 hours of on-
demand IFE content via Apple iPads to every
passenger in business and economy on
the airline s 767s, with the first installation
scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.
The service will be available free of charge.
The airline s 767 fleet operates east coast
routes and on services across the continent to
Perth, in Western Australia.
Qantas Domestic chief executive officer
Lyell Strambi says the airline and Panasonic
are "looking at ways to evolve this
technology platform even further". Qantas
competitor Virgin Australia, meanwhile, has
opted for Lufthansa Systems wi-fi solution.
BoardConnect comprises an onboard
server with five access points throughout
the passenger cabin. It features full wi-fi
connectivity allowing passengers to connect
their personal devices.
Lufthansa Systems itself seemed surprised
by Qantas decision, saying: "Lufthansa
Systems and Qantas have been successfully
conducting a wireless IFE trial aboard a
767 with 254 airline-provided iPads since
last February, as announced by Qantas on
February 1, 2012. This trial was recently
extended for another six months. As stated by
Qantas, feedback on the trial with Lufthansa
Systems BoardConnect has been excellent
concerning technical performance and
reliability of the system as well as comments
by passengers, management and crews. This
emphasises the system s strong performance
at full load."
The manufacturer says all parties "were
extremely pleased with the results of the trial".
It adds: "Best to our knowledge, Lufthansa
Systems remains the only provider that offers
a working wireless IFE solution that has been
proven under real conditions in flight. It is
easy to install during regular night-stops and
offers a variety of streaming options to either
passenger or airline-owned devices as well as
in-seat screens." -- Emma Kelly.
Global in-flight connectivity provider
OnAir has secured its first low-cost carrier
customer, with Cebu Pacific Air of the
Philippines selecting OnAir internet service
for its Airbus A330 fleet.
OnAir has 47 customers on five
continents, but Cebu Air is the first LCC
to select its services. Cebu Air will offer
Internet OnAir on its A330 fleet which
will launch long-haul services in the third
quarter of 2013 to the Middle East,
Australia, parts of Europe and the United
States. Passengers will be able to access
the internet during flights and make calls
using voice over IP applications using their
wi-fi-enabled personal devices. The airline
also has the option to install wi-fi on its
fleet of A320 aircraft which operate short-
"We are very happy to provide our
guests with the convenience of online
connectivity while in-flight. CEB can now
engage passengers through innovative
web-based solutions that will further
enhance their flying experience with us,"
says Candice Iyog, vice-president for
marketing and distribution.
OnAir expects more LCCs to follow suit.
"As the air transport market develops,
we expect to see more LCCs operating
long-haul routes and there is no doubt they
will want to provide connectivity," says Ian
Dawkins, chief executive officer of OnAir.
-- Emma Kelly
ONAIR WINS FIRST LCC DEAL
Airbus has launched its Space-Flex PRM
(Persons with Reduced Mobility) lavatory as
an option on the A320 Family following a
launch order from TAM Airlines.
Brazilian carrier TAM, which merged
earlier this year with Chile s LAN to form
the LATAM Airlines Group, has selected the
option for 39 new aircraft which are due for
delivery from the fourth quarter of next year.
The Space-Flex option makes better use of
space at the rear of the passenger cabin,
allowing two lavatories plus a galley to be
accommodated. The Space-Flex PRM involves
the conversion of two single Space-Flex
lavatories into one PRM unit, providing a full
PRM lavatory for the first time on a single-
aisle aircraft. -- Emma Kelly
AIRBUS GETS FIRST
QANTAS DEALS LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS A
BLOW IN PICKING PANASONIC
German carrier Condor will launch BoardConnect service in the near
future but Qantas won't be following suit.
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