Zodiac expands IFE market share

Washington DC
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Corsair has received its first Airbus A330-300 equipped with Zodiac Aerospace's SiT in-seat in-flight entertainment (IFE) system.

The TUI France subsidiary plans to outfit its entire A330 and Boeing 747 fleet with the "seat-centric" system through new deliveries and retrofits for older aircraft. The trademark feature of the SiT system is that the content is stored directly in each unit, rather than in a server.

In a move to gain market share in the IFE space, Zodiac announced on its 21 November year-end earnings call that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire US-based IFE firm IMS, which produces the Rave IFE system. Zodiac CEO Olivier Zarrouati told investors that he expects the contract to be finalised before the end of the year.

Zodiac is a relatively new player in the IFE space, as it only created the SiT division in May 2011. The technology is available in the Airbus catalogue for the Airbus A330/340 models. The system has been retrofitted on aircraft for Royal Jordanian, South African Airways and Gulf Air.

IMS, on the other hand, has been in the IFE space for 16 years. It has 12 airline customers for Rave with more than 200 orders, including Lufthansa, Air Berlin, Air Transat and Icelandair. IMS says it was aware of Zodiac's announcement but declined to provide further comment.