Kieran Daly/TOULOUSE

AIRBUS INDUSTRIE is launching a two-pronged campaign to improve in-flight entertainment (IFE) equipment-performance.

The move comes amid growing concern on the part of airframers that poor IFE reliability is adversely affecting overall aircraft reliability.

Airbus is stressing that it will give its full support to operators, which suffer problems with IFE systems - which are buyer-furnished equipment (BFE) - but it wants to help them avoid the difficulties in the first place.

Senior director of customer- support services Mohamed El Borai says: "The airlines go and get the best deals on equipment and we suffer. How do we explain to people that we are not in the television business? Still, we will not say that this is BFE and so it's their problem."

Borai explains that Airbus' evolving strategy is to bring pressure on IFE vendors to improve performance and to encourage airlines to step up flight-attendant-training in using IFE equipment.

He says that he has told manufacturers and vendors to "...put their names clearly on the machine and make it work, otherwise I will not have it. We are putting pressure on the vendors to do something about it."

Borai is also working with the airlines, pointing out that "...we have flight attendants who are not of the Nintendo generation. Today, the flight attendants hold the commercial reputation of the airline in their hands. When the flight attendants are going for continuation training, they then need some work on IFE."

Airbus itself now intends to run its own seminar purely for flight attendants in an effort to improve their understanding of IFE.

Source: Flight International