Qatar Airways has signed an agreement with Panasonic Avionics for its in-flight entertainment (IFE) system.

The Astrova system will be fitted to Qatar’s new fleet of 40 Boeing 777x set to enter into service in late 2023, becoming the first airline to sign as a launch customer globally.

Astrova promises faster on-wing upgrades and maintenance, commonality in media loading, spares and repairs, and significant weight reductions compared to other providers, Panasonic Avionics said.

‘Cinema-grade’ 4K OLED

The company said its newest IFE seat-end solution features a cinema-grade 4K OLED with High Dynamic Range (HDR) experience, with 22-inch screens in business class and 13-inch in economy.

Panasonic Avionics described its monitor as a “singular design featuring gentle curves, soft rounded touchpoints”, which also offers programmable LED lighting that enables airlines to optimise the cabin environment with animated sequences synchronised to improve the passenger experience and reduce eye strain.

Removable peripheral bar

A removable peripheral bar ensures that Astrova can evolve to allow people to interact with it. This means that passengers will always be able to fast charge their devices with USB power even if new power requirements are introduced. In addition, the feature means that passengers will be able to connect headphones or devices even if Bluetooth technologies or standards change.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We are pleased that Qatar Airways, one of the premier airlines in the world, has chosen Astrova for its fleet of 777x aircraft.

“Using our IFE innovation, Qatar Airways can leverage the latest consumer innovations to deliver unique passenger experiences to drive higher Net Promotor Scores, enhance passenger engagement, increase revenue, and achieve even greater operational efficiencies through IFE. We are very honoured to launch this exciting new product and for Qatar to be the first to sign as the launch customer for the 777x aircraft type.”

Launch customer

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Panasonic Avionics Corporation has a long history of building market-leading IFE solutions, and today, we are excited to unveil that Qatar Airways will be the launch customer of the new Astrova screens onboard our fleet of Boeing 777x.

“Our partnership is a testament to our commitment to providing a second to none customer experience. This industry-leading solution will provide our passengers with a cinema-grade, 4K OLED clarity that will captivate them when watching our latest blockbusters using Oryx One IFE system.”
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