Star Alliance carrier Lufthansa is to trial both touch-screen and armrest-located control panels ahead of rolling out seat-back in-flight entertainment screens in economy on its long-haul aircraft later this year.

The German carrier says it will begin outfitting seat-back screens across its long-haul fleet this winter, but has today launched a test phase to assess passengers’ preferred way of using the system. One option is a control panel located in the armrest, while the other option allows navigation via a touch-screen.


 Lufthansa head tv
 © Lufthansa

It will test the two systems on a pair of aircraft operating flights from Frankfurt to Detroit, Houston and Toronto. The system is provided by Rockwell Collins.

“On the test flights, on-board surveys will also be conducted by specially-trained staff. The findings of the survey will be evaluated and taken into account in the final selection of the control system for the in-seat screen,” the carrier says.

Lufthansa, having just completed retrofit work on business class on its long-haul fleet, will roll out its first aircraft with seat-back screens in economy class this November. It will gradually fit seat-back screens in economy across its 80-strong long-haul fleet, although the carrier does not specify when it hopes to complete the installations.