SriLankan Airlines plans to equip its long-haul fleet's business class cabin with flatbed seating and new audio-video on-demand entertainment systems.
The carrier will begin installing the new seats, supplied by Italy's Aviointeriors on two Airbus A340s and four A330s from May 2011 at SriLankan's engineering facilities at Colombo Airport.
It plans to complete the work by September, says the airline.
SriLankan's head of service delivery Milinda Ratnayake says the new seats will cater to high-end tourists who prefer to travel in luxury, as Sri Lanka is set to attract more tourists in 2011.
The airline will also replace its existing in-flight entertainment system with an audio-video on-demand system from IMS, says the carrier. The IMS system, known as RAVE, is based on a decentralized architecture, which "would seem to guarantee exceptional reliability in that it avoids systemic failures - every seat stands on its own", independent consultant Michael Childers said last year when RAVE was unveiled at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference and exhibition. APEX was then known as the World Airline Entertainment Association.
"If the self-contained RAVE unit in any seat should fail, it is quickly and easily swapped out with a pop-in replacement unit with no impact on any other seat. I am personally very intrigued by this concept of decentralization as a way to avoid systemic failures and enable in-flight replacement of any faulty unit," said Childers.
SriLankan is the first publicly-announced customer for RAVE.