Posted on: 16 September 2015 by Mark Howells
tThe first of 18 Boeing 747s operated by British Airways (BA) has flown between Heathrow and New York JFK this week, outfitted with a newly-fitted Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment (IFE) system.ttPanasonic’s eX3 solution offers passengers 1,300 hours of entertainment content – including over 130 movies and 400 TV programmes – on larger, hi-resolution screens with touch and swipe capability to give the system the familiar feel of using a tablet. ttLightweight in design, eX3 also helps to reduce the amount of fuel used by the aircraft.ttOther upgrades in the cabin include the introduction of a universal power socket at every seat in World Traveller Plus, which is capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. In addition, World Traveller customers will have a personal USB socket charge personal electronic devices.ttRichard D'Cruze, BA's in-flight entertainment and technology manager, said, “We know that IFE is really important to our customers – being able to relax and watch a film or listen to music helps customers to pass the time enjoyably – so by installing this state-of-the-art equipment we will be able to deliver even more programming on board.”ttThe refit, which has been carried out by BA engineers in Cardiff, also features a cabin interior refresh to bring the 747s more in line with the airline's newest aircraft. New seat foams have been installed in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort and new style seat covers fitted to match those on the A380 and 787. Carpets and curtains throughout the plane have also been replaced to mirror the colour palette of newer aircraft.tt“Our customers love our new aircraft, but the 747s hold a special place in their heart, so we're delighted to have been able to revamp these aircraft,” commented Kathryn Doyle, BA's aircraft cabin interiors manager. “They'll look and feel like new now, with enhanced comfort, technology and design.”ttThe revamped 747s will operate on selected flights to New York JFK, Chicago, Lagos, Dubai, Boston, Riyadh and Kuwait, with further routes due to be added in summer 2016.