Thales Avionics (Chalet B119) has seized the opportunity presented by the show to announce one of the biggest orders yet for its new-generation Ethernet-based TopSeries 5000i inflight entertainment system.

In a massive boost for Thales' IFE operation - until recently trailing in third place behind Panasonic and Rockwell Collins - Middle East carrier Etihad has finally confirmed a long-rumoured order for TopSeries for five Boeing 777s, 14 Airbus A330s, eight A340s and four A380s. The system will deliver audio and video on demand to every seat.

Installation work has already begun, and the first revenue flight of a TopSeries-equipped A330 took place last month. First revenue flights on the 777s, A340s and A380s are scheduled for this October, April next year and May 2007 respectively.

"As the most advanced IFE system available, TopSeries promises to bring a whole new dimension to Etihad's inflight entertainment," says Etihad chairman Dr Ahmed bin Saif al-Nahyan.

TopSeries is being demonstrated here at the Thales pavilion, as are the group's Watchkeeper UAV and cockpit solution for the Airbus 400M military freighter

Source: Flight Daily News