KLM could be first to fit electronic equipment to its A330s

KLM is an early candidate to take advantage of an agreement that finally lets navigation data specialist Jeppesen put its electronic flight bag (EFB) on Airbus aircraft.

The Dutch flag carrier is using the EFB on its new Boeing 777s, but the deal does not cover the six Airbus A330s it has on firm order. It has purchase rights on up to 18 more.

At Farnborough, Jeppesen and Airbus announced a memorandum of understanding that will let the Boeing subsidiary provide its EFB when specified by Airbus customers.

Airbus has harboured concerns over working with Jeppesen since it was acquired by Boeing in 2000, fearing for security of proprietary information it would have to share.

Now Jeppesen has implemented protective mechanisms to address those concerns and chief executive Mark Van Tine says: "I commend Airbus for how they have dealt with this, and I commend Boeing for what they have done."

Airbus executive VP customer services Patrick Gavin says: "We have long realised that Jeppesen is a leading actor on the digital navigation charts market. Being able to offer these services to our customers in forward and retrofit situations is a major accomplishment."

Jeppesen hopes to be able to craft a deal on the A330s, although there is no longer an announced Airbus programme to implement a hard-wired EFB as there is on the 777.

Source: Flight International