Thales has secured a broad deal with Saudia Airlines that includes offering the manufacturer’s new AVA wireless IFE solution. The comprehensive agreement covers 54 aircraft; these will feature Thales’ next generation Android-based TopSeries AVANT IFE system alongside AVA and the TopConnect suite of inflight connectivity.
Four fleet types are covered under Saudia’s new deal with Thales – Airbus A320s/A330s and Boeing 777s/787s. This marks Thales’ second announced commitment AVA; the company has also snagged South American operator LAN as a trial customer. This is an extension of an existing partnership between the two companies. Thales’ TopSeries digital single-aisle system is currently featured on more than 42 A320s operated by the carrier, and Thales also supplies the IFE system on more than 20 of Saudia’s 777 widebodies.
Separately, Thales has won key business in China with the selection by China Southern of AVANT for 10 Boeing 777-300ERs. All the seats on the widebody aircraft will feature Thales’ award-winning TouchPMU handheld device, which allows passengers across all classes to control their respective system while utilising the dual-screen for multi-task capability.
In addition to marking the first major sale of the AVANT system in China, Thales also says it is the first selection of the system for a 777 widebody. The 10 jets featuring the Thales system are expected to enter service in February 2014. Remarking on a key win for Thales in one of the fastest growing air travel regions, company CEO Alan Pellegrini says: “Airlines such as China Southern are enjoying record breaking growth and are therefore very keen to provide their passengers with the best and latest in-cabin experience. It is therefore very gratifying they have chosen TopSeries AVANT over all other products in the market to equip their newest and most advanced aircraft.”