Posted on: 15 June 2010 by Ross McSweeny
The first Airbus A330-200 delivered to Hong Kong Airlines is one of six to be equipped with Panasonic Avionics eX2 in-flight entertainment and communication (IFEC) systems. The aircraft arrived at the airline’s Hong Kong International base on 8 June and is due to start flying to Moscow — the airline’s first long-haul destination — on 30 June.
Panasonic says the aircraft is the first in the carrier’s fleet to offer passengers multi-language audio and video on demand (AVOD) services, including movies, television programmes, CDs and soundtracks. The cabin-wide eX2 fit includes touch-screen smart monitors and multifunction handsets at every seat. The A330 is the airline’s first widebody and like its existing fleet of Boeing 737-800s is configured with business and economy class seating.
"Hong Kong Airlines’ goal is to be the market leader in passenger satisfaction," says Yang Jian Hong, president of Hong Kong Airlines and its sister operator, Hong Kong Express Airways. "We chose eX2 because its innovative features, rich functionality, and robust performance create an in-flight entertainment experience that will engage and excite our passengers. Offering an enhanced entertainment experience on our international flights enables us to further differentiate our brand and create greater customer loyalty for our airline."
The two airlines currently operate more than a dozen 737-800s, with orders that will take the joint fleet to 20, and have ordered 20 A320s plus 23 A330s. According to Airbus, Hong Kong Airlines plans to use the A330s to add services to Europe and North America.
Panasonic CEO Paul Margis says the news "demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Hong Kong travel market, and we look forward to working with Hong Kong Airlines on new, innovative IFEC solutions that deliver a superior entertainment solution for their passengers."
Charles Ogilvie, executive director of China for Panasonic, describes eX2 as "an excellent choice for any airline that wants robust and flexible functionality, an enhanced passenger experience, improved flight crew effectiveness and efficiency, powerful branding and marketing opportunities, and ancillary revenue generation."
Photo shows Hong Kong Airlines management and flight crew celebrating the arrival of the airline’s first A330-200.