Singapore Airlines will become the first carrier to offer Apple iPod connectivity to economy passengers when it launches services with new Airbus A330-300s this quarter.

The carrier has taken delivery of the first of 19 A330s, which will be progressively deployed on routes to Australian and Japanese cities from the end of March.

Every seat on the aircraft, including in economy class, allows passengers the ability to listen and view the contents of their iPod and iPhone personal electronic devices through Panasonic Avionics in-flight entertainment systems.

"Singapore Airlines is the first in the world to have this unique feature in its economy class cabin, after it made its debut on the airline's all-business class [Airbus] A340-500 last year," says SIA.

The facility forms part of a new multi-port panel placed next to each customer's individual IFE screen. Besides iPod and iPhone connectivity, the panel contains a USB port and an audio-video input, allowing passengers to plug in their portable media players to watch their favourite videos via the IFE system.

Panasonic has been on the forefront of developing advanced interactive platforms that allow new technologies to be introduced on a plug-and-play basis. Customers for these services range from Colombian flag carrier Avianca to US major United Airlines.

However, rival Thales also intends to make similar technological strides. The company says it is developing new system capabilities "focused on passenger personalisation, iPod integration and airline revenue generation".

SIA A330 resized 2 
 © SIA

Source: Flight International