Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways and Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines have selected Panasonic Avionics to supply new in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems.

Panasonic announced at Asian Aerospace that Cathay has contracted it to provide a complete IFE offering for its long-haul fleet of Airbus A330s and A340s, and Boeing 747-400s and 777-300ERs.

The deal comprises Panasonic's eX2 platform and an IFE suite known as StudioCX that features on-demand movies and programming. It also includes maintenance support, which will be provided by Panasonic's technicians in conjunction with maintenance provider Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering.

Cathay has also opted for much larger LCD displays for the premium cabins in its long-haul aircraft.

The airline's first eX2-equipped flight took place on a retrofitted 747-400 in June of this year followed by a production fit of eX2 on an A330-300 in August.

"Our decision to select Panasonic's eX2 system was based on a number of key considerations. We felt that eX2 system has features and capabilities that would meet our specific requirements, and that by leveraging on its fully digitised backbone the system could provide us with a much faster processing speed and superior display quality," says Cathay Pacific manager product Sarah Blomfield.

China Southern has meanwhile selected Panasonic Avionics to supply the eX2 system for its 10 firm-ordered Boeing 787s. Deliveries of the carrier's 787s are due to begin around the middle of next year.

China Southern is one of five Chinese carriers with 787s on order, the others being Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Shanghai Airlines.

Panasonic says its IFE and communication systems are flying on more than 3,000 aircraft.

Source: Flight International