Panasonic Avionics expects to install its in-flight connectivity systems in nearly 12,000 narrowbodies over the next 10 years.

That forecast compares with just 700 aircraft in service today with Panasonic systems, says executive director of sales and marketing Neil James, who claims a market share of nearly half.

Another 4,000 widebodies will be fitted out by Panasonic, he says, adding that the biggest challenge will lie in developing the installation and support capacity to match sales growth.

Panasonic disclosed at Aircraft Interiors that China Southern Airlines will be launch customer for the eXO system, in 54 Airbus A320s and A321s being delivered from early 2016. The carrier holds another 50 options to cover fleet expansion.

James sees the deal as a significant move in China, where business and first-class flyers are eager early adopters of new technology.

Separately, Xiamen Airlines has selected Panasonic's in-flight wi-fi service and eX3 entertainment system for six Boeing 787-8s.

Meanwhile, Panasonic is building an array of onboard and mobile technologies intended to help airlines create what James calls a "seamless" customer experience.

For business and first-class travellers, he says, the goal is "to bring the aircraft experience into the lounge and the lounge experience into the aircraft".

Source: Flight Daily News