Six major airlines have reached agreement with Apple Computer to allow passengers to play music and videos from their iPods over installed inflight entertainment (?xml:namespace>IFE) systems.
Air France, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, KLM and United Airlines in mid-2007 will begin offering passengers seat connections that will power and charge their iPods during flight and allow video content on the devices to be viewed on their seat-back displays.
Additionally, Apple says it is working with Panasonic Avionics “to bring even more leading airlines inflight iPod connectivity in the future”.
Further details of the integration process are not immediately available.
Delta in a separate statement says it expects to equip its entire domestic transcontinental fleet of 100-plus aircraft with the audio/video integration plus charging functionality by 2008.
The carrier’s VP of marketing Joanne Smith says: “Apple’s iPod is one of the most popular digital music and portable video players in the world with more than 70 million units sold worldwide to current or potential Delta customers.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Apple on our inflight iPod integration for customers as we continue to completely reinvent the travel experience. This is just one of the many ways we're providing air travelers with more of the entertainment options they prefer when they fly.”
The announcement follows the US major’s fall launch of a new, two-class domestic transcontinental product offering Panasonic Avionics inflight entertainment systems.
Panasonic Avionics is also providing all inflight iPod integration services for Delta.
Apple and Panasonic Avionics were not immediately available to comment.