Image: Saudia/Boeing

Panasonic Avionics and Saudia have signed an agreement for the installation of the Astrova seat-end solution on up to 30 of its aircraft.

Astrova, Panasonic Avionics’ next generation IFE seat-end solution, redefines the role of seatback IFE and enhances the opportunity for airlines to engage with their passengers. The agreement will cover Astrova 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 best high-definition capability available, ensuring the best picture quality coupled with high quality audio delivered by Panasonic Avionics’ latest Bluetooth technology.

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 percent 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 optimise the cabin environment.

Saudia has reiterated its commitment to providing best-in-class services, and this new system is designed to stay at the forefront of consumer trends and in-flight entertainment products and services throughout its lifetime. Key hardware and software components have been designed to evolve over time to meet changing market requirements and satisfy guests’ ever-increasing expectations. This helps ensure that guests will always be able to seamlessly interface their personal devices to the IFE system to create the same omnichannel, multiscreen, multi-purpose environment which they are accustomed to at home.

This agreement feeds into Saudia’s passion for driving innovation and sustainability-focused initiatives, as Astrova offers significant weight savings compared to other seat-end architectures, which will help reduce fuel burn.

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.”

IFE maintenance capabilities

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). Leveraging strategic relationships with trusted partners, such as Panasonic Avionics, is key to accelerate growth and to benefit from tested best-practice. Working with SAEI, Panasonic Avionics will contribute to the Kingdom and Saudia localisation objectives by enhancing SAEI’s repair capabilities, training its technicians and introducing state-of-the art technology.

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