Aircraft Cabin Management

AIX2024: Air Canada agrees deal to install Panasonic’s Astrova IFE in fleet

photo_camera Astrova IFE will come with a suite of digital products (Pic: Panasonic Avionics)

Air Canada has agreed to install Panasonic Avionics new range of Astrova screens in its fleet as it upgrades its in-flight entertainment offering.

The system will be installed into the carrier’s 80-plus aircraft from 2025 as part of a deal announced this week during the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

The Canadian flag carrier will fit Astrova on its Boeing 787-10, Airbus A220-300 and A321XLR aircraft. Additionally, it will be retrofitted on A321s. It will be the first time Astrova will be installed on an A220.

Hernan Abbes, vice president of global sales at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “Our long term agreement with Air Canada represents the future of airline IFE programs.

“With its flexible design and modular approach to upgrades, we are confident that our award-winning Astrova IFE solution will enhance Air Canada’s brand and increase passenger engagement for many years to come.

“We look forward to continued collaboration with Air Canada to perpetually deliver the latest technology to Air Canada throughout the lifetime of its fleet.”

John Moody, managing director of onboard product at Air Canada, added: “We’re very excited to build on our long term relationship with Panasonic Avionics by selecting Astrova for our next generation cabins.

“It represents our commitment to delivering the best experience to our customers.  Astrova is the best available solution on the market today, and we are proud to make it part of Air Canada’s award winning in-flight entertainment.”

Astrova provides an “immersive experience” through 4K OLED HDR10+ screens. Passengers can also experience high-fidelity audio on their own wireless headphones using Panasonic Avionics’ Bluetooth technology.

For passengers who want to multitask or work on their flights, up to 100 W of DC power via USB-C will be available in all phases of flight to fast charge mobile phones, tablets, compatible laptops, and other personal electronic devices.

Astrova also features a modular design that Panasonic says is needed to “keep pace with consumer trends in today’s fast-changing market”.

Its patented removable peripheral bar can be quickly swapped to unlock new upgrades and features to services like USB power, Bluetooth technology, and other standards that may change or evolve over time.

For faster delivery, more efficient maintenance, and higher innovation-to-market velocity of apps and software, Astrova uses Panasonic Avionics’ new IFE software platform.

This provides a collection of shared system services and utilities, which will allow Air Canada to quickly build, test, and deploy new applications.

Air Canada has also extended its agreement with Panasonic Avionics’ technical services team (PTS) to maintain these Astrova-equipped aircraft.

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