JetBlue Airways will install Thales’ Avant in-flight-entertainment (IFE) system on its new fleet of 70 Airbus A220-300 aircraft beginning with deliveries in 2020.
The system will offer passengers a broad choice of on-board visual entertainment and information on high-definition screens at every seat, Thales said on Tuesday in a statement.
Avant is an Android-based system equipped with high-capacity servers and locally stored content. The A220’s seats will feature 10” screens with custom connected applications, audio-and-video-on-demand, as well as personal device pairing. The system will also feature USB and electric power to keep devices fully charged.
JetBlue and Delta Air Lines have doubled down on offering in-flight passenger connectivity while other major US carriers like American Airlines and United Airlines are cutting back on seat-back screens. While a majority of passengers say they enjoy using the systems, airlines are balking at the price tag, which can reach $10,000 per seat.
Thales and JetBlue began their collaboration in 2000 when the technology solutions company installed live television on every seat of the airline’s A320 fleet. Currently, Thales runs the IFE systems on 253 single-aisle JetBlue aircraft, while the Avant system is installed on more than 1,600 aircraft worldwide.