Posted on: 27 March 2012 by Mark Howells
Thales has formed a Joint Venture (JV) with China Electronics Technology Avionics Co., Ltd. (CETCA) to support the integration of the Thales TopSeries in-flight entertainment (IFE) system on the new COMAC C919 aircraft.The official signing took place at the 2012 Aircraft Interiors Expo in attendance of Thales and CETCA senior management. The Joint Venture Operations are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012, following final approval by the relevant authorities.Designed and built in China, the C919 can carry between 156 to 190 passengers with the first scheduled flight planned in 2014 with aircraft deliveries to begin in 2016. The Thales system will be a scalable platform offering services ranging from interactive audio capability through to full in-seat on-demand services, with an emphasis on minimizing weight, cost and power consumption.“The global strength of Thales Group and our investment and growth strategy in partnership with both CETCA and COMAC is a strong combination that will ultimately change the landscape of the civil aerospace marketplace in China,” declared President of Thales China and North Asia region, Olivier Guibert. “We fully expect that there will be excellent demand for the C919 in China and we are proud to be part of this business arrangement.”“C919 program is just the start. China’s civil aviation industry is under fast development and the partnership with Thales has great potential,” commented General Manager of CETCA, Mr. Zeng Li.Thales and CETCA are aiming to establish this Joint Venture as a global Center of Excellence to offer capabilities covering research development, production, adaptation, and maintenance for the IFE market.