Posted on: 25 February 2014 by Mark Howells
China Southern has become the first airline to take delivery of a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft equipped with Thales’ TopSeries AVANT in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system.
Thales’ IFEC systems are already installed on the airline’s Airbus A330s and now its fleet of 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be equipped with the TopSeries AVANT IFEC system with all scheduled to enter into service between 2014 and 2016. The first of these aircraft will fly from Seattle back to China Southern’s main hub in Guangzhou, Baiyun International airport where it is scheduled to enter into regular service on March 2nd, between Guangzhou and Shanghai Hongqiao. It is believed that China Southern will use the Boeing 777-300ER to fly direct between Guangzhou and New York.
The fourth-generation TopSeries AVANT system is designed to eliminate the electronics box under cabin seats, with an aim to improve passenger comfort and enhance weight efficiency. China Southern intends to benefit from the system’s scalable design which will allow the airline to offer differentiation between classes, such as single touchscreen in Economy and interactive multi-screen in Business. The AVANT system is also based on the Android operating system, which accomodates both off-the-shelf and airline-specific applications.
System programmes are offered in five languages, English, Simplified Chinese, French, Japanese and Korean. Passengers will have access to a selection of applications including an interactive 3D map, 25 games, flight connection information, e-books, e-shopping and a picture viewer.
“These aircraft play a crucial role in our international growth strategy and being the launch customer for the AVANT system is an important move for us to offer an advanced experience to our passengers,” commented Mr Zhang Zifang, COO of China Southern.