Thales Avionics has begun offering IMS portable media players to its customers.

Under the arrangement, Thales is including IMS's portable media players in its range of in-flight entertainment (IFE) products and service.

The company has already secured a launch customer for the IMS-provided portable media players, but is yet to disclose the identity. The devices will be deployed on 27 aircraft, reveals Thales vice-president and general manager Alan Pellegrini.

The news follows an announcement that IMS is developing a portable data loader for Thales, and that the two companies are in discussion involving a "next-generation" embedded terminal data loader as part of the continuation of a relationship began in 2003.

Thales' use of IMS data loading solutions places IMS as the industry leader in content and data loading solutions, according to IMS vice president sales and marketing Harry Gray.

Gray adds that American Airlines, British Airways and Virgin America operate IMS terminal data loaders across four aircraft types, as well as two different platforms - Panasonic eFX and Rockwell Collins dTES.