The definitive Thales TopSeries list and a revelation about #28

As promised, the good folks at Thales have sent me their full list of announced TopSeries customers. To date the in-flight entertainment (IFE) giant has secured TopSeries deals with just over 40 airlines, which have committed to over 1,000 TopSeries systems.

The 31 carriers named in the list below are the ones that have given Thales permission to send out a release over the last several years. Some airlines don’t wish to announce anything until the system in flying.

Cabin seats eco - Thales.JPG

“We are in the process of reaching out to the balance of the airlines which we have not made formal announcements,” says a Thales spokeswoman.

Check out the list. That big BA deal was a doosy. But Thales’ strength is also evident in Asia and the Middle East. Rival Panasonic’s decision to open an office in Shanghai next month makes a lot of sense.

Now for a bit of newsy news. Thales previously said that the new all-digital IFE system for single-aisle will be launched by a leading Middle Eastern carrier. The company confirms that one of the 31 carriers listed below will launch the product. That narrows it down nicely, but Thales isn’t disclosing which one.

However, a little birdie has told me that #28, Saudi Arabian Airlines, will launch the system on 22 Airbus A320s. I love little birdies (and their unsubstianted tweets).

As reported earlier the new TopSeries product, which dispenses of the seat box, can be configured by class of service as an interactive audio-only system, interactive overhead video system, or a full functioning in-seat audio/video on demand (AVOD) system with a high-speed broadband network and personal widescreen displays.

On a tangent – when Thales refers to “broadband” is it referencing the type of in-flight Internet offerings being developed by Arinc and OnAir to take advantage of Inmarsat’s higher-bandwidth aeronautical service, SwiftBroadband? Thales is on record as saying it sees SwiftBroadband as the initial way forward (and not Ku band-based connectivity). 

But back to the new IFE system for regional jets and narrowbodies. In July Thales announced that Star Aviation – which is being established by Dubai-based ETA Star Group – will equip its new Embraer 170 aircraft with a TopSeries AVOD system that eliminates the seat box.

Thales says that the Star Aviation system is not the same as the new single-aisle offering that will be launched by that leading Middle Eastern carrier.

Thales designed a new ePCU (Ethernet passenger control unit) that connects directly to the Ethernet network – this is an added feature compared to the system Star Aviation has today, says the Thales spokeswoman, adding: “With the new ePCU, airlines have more interactive audio capability.”

The Thales TopSeries list

1. Afriquyah Airways

2. Air AsiaX

3. Air Astana

4. Air Canada

5. Air China

6. Air Europa

7. Air France

8. Air India

9. Bangkok Airways

10. British Airways

11. BMED

12. China Eastern

13. Etihad

14. Ethiopian Airlines

15. Hainan Airlines

16. Indian Airlines

17. Interjet

18. Japan Airlines

19. Korean Airlines

20. LAN

21. LOT Polish Airlines

22. Malaysia Airlines

23. Middle East Airlines

24. MyTravel

25. Philippine Airlines

26. Royal Brunei

27. Royal Jordianian

28. Saudi Arabian Airlines

29. Star Aviation

30. Shanghai

31. Tunis Air

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One Response to The definitive Thales TopSeries list and a revelation about #28

  1. Steph March 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Hi Mary,

    I was wondering where you got the photograph for this blog? I am interested in using it in one of my designs. Please contact me ASAP! My email is: Thanks!


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