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Wendy is an IFE Agent responsible for aggregating airline news specifically related to Inflight entertainment. She compiles stories relevant to business travelers, airline industry folks, marketers and tech geeks. IFE News doesn't create original content, but rather posts compelling editorial from global media outlets.

PANASONIC WILL DOUBLE THE SIZE OF CONNECTIVITY-EQUIPPED FLEET BY END OF 2014

Panasonic announced that it will double the size of its connectivity-equipped fleet by the end of 2014 following FAA certification of a bird strike compliant radome for B777-200 aircraft.

The STC (supplemental type certificate) for the B777-200 radome paves the way for approvals on other aircraft types. Panasonic currently has more than 150 B777-200 aircraft scheduled for installation, and further STC approvals are expected in April for the B757, and for the B767 in September.

Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation says: “Airlines are requiring that their aircraft be connected quickly, and the demand for Ku-band in-flight connectivity services is enormous. This week’s STC approval marks a major step forward in our rapid installation program.  “By the end of this year, 23 airlines will be taking advantage of our unique global high speed satellite network enabling their passengers to stay connected in-flight.”

Earlier this week, Panasonic completed the installation of its award-wining Global Communications Services on the 400th aircraft, which is a United Airlines B747-400 commissioned in China.  Over the last five days, Panasonic has installed its global broadband Wi-Fi service on nine separate aircraft for five different customers including the B747-400 mentioned above, plus three B777-300s, two B747-800s, an A330, an A320, and an A319. The first A380 test flight with Panasonic’s global broadband Wi-Fi service installed also occurred this week in Hamburg.

Moving forward, Panasonic will increase installations by 30 percent and equip up to 40 aircraft installations of all types per month. The company expects to have over 800 aircraft using its broadband in-flight Wi-Fi service by December of 2014.

Panasonic’s in-flight Wi-Fi service delivers a connected experience similar to what travelers experience on the ground. It provides two-way broadband communications to an aircraft and supports internet browsing, email, social networking and other crew and passenger applications. It also offers airlines the ability to improve operational efficiencies by enabling electronic flight bag, real-time weather updates, live engine monitoring and other services, some of which were highlighted with the recent memorandum of understanding Panasonic signed with Singapore Airlines.

 

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