China Eastern extends Panasonic broadband connectivity contract

China Eastern Airlines has strengthened its long-term relationship with Panasonic by committing to global broadband connectivity services for a further 49 aircraft.

The extended agreement – following the announcement of 20 Boeing 777-300ERs last November – includes 35 line-fit aircraft with an extensive retrofit program covering a total 84 aircaft.The Chinese carrier, in partnership with China Telecom Satellite, was the first to offer broadband Wi-Fi connectivity on flights over Chinese airspace.The aircraft types included in the agreement are one B737-800 (retrofit); four B767-300 (retrofit); two B767-300ER (retrofit); 20 B777-300 (line-fit); 31 A330-200 (retrofit); 11 A330-300 (retrofit) and 15 A330-300 (line-fit).Paul Margis, president and chief executive officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We have been helping China Eastern Airlines offer connected flights since November 2015 and remain the only provider operating over China today. Passengers increasingly expect the availability of reliable broadband Wi-Fi around the world and the roll out of this service across the China Eastern fleet will enable it to provide a connected service for its passengers.”Zhang Chi, deputy director of China Eastern Airlines’ Transformation Office added, “China Eastern Airlines is committed to transforming the inflight experience for our passengers. We are constantly working with partners to discover new ways to engage passengers and to maximise the benefits of the connected aircraft. We look forward to the continued development of this extremely exciting service with the team at Panasonic Avionics.”Panasonic Avionics’ eXConnect uses the company’s global Ku-band satellite network to deliver broadband connectivity to aircraft flying all over the world.

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