Posted on: 25 January 2016 by Ross McSweeny
JetBlue has launched a cabin restyling programme for its 130-strong Airbus A320 fleet, marking the first complete redesign of its A320 interiors since the airline launched in 2000.
The airline plans to offer free gate-to-gate connectivity using its Fly-Fi solution as well as to debut a new internet-enabled in-flight entertainment (IFE) system featuring ten inch high-definition seatback televisions and in-seat power outlets with USB ports.The new IFE system from Thales, STV+, is built on the Google Android platform, offering the possibility of custom app and widget development, live content streaming, audio-and-video-on-demand and personal device pairing.In addition to streaming content, JetBlue passengers will have access to more than 100 DirecTV channels (as opposed to the current 36) and will have the choice of over 300 on-demand Hollywood films and other content stored locally on the aircraft.JetBlue will be the launch customer of STV+, becoming the first commercial airline to offer Direct Broadcast Satellite Television plus connectivity embedded in the seatback.“We launched JetBlue with a customer-focused experience that no one expected from an airline,” remarked Jamie Perry, JetBlue’s vice president of brand and product development. “Travel preferences have changed in the last 15 years, and we’re investing in what customers want today. Our new cabin, combined with our award-winning customer service, is a powerful way for us to once again challenge the status quo.”With gate-to-gate access to Fly-Fi – which is powered by Thales and ViaSat – passengers will be able to use between 12 to 20 Mbps each during takeoff and landing to surf the web, post pictures to social media, email colleagues and friends, or connect to The Hub – JetBlue’s content portal – on their personal electronic devices.“Our customers don’t want to switch off when they take off, so we are continuing to build on our investment in Fly-Fi,” Perry added. “Flying JetBlue is more and more like being in your own home – with access to live television and high-speed Internet across multiple screens while relaxing in a comfortable seat with lots of space and all the snacks and soft drinks you want. What you can’t get at home is the award-winning service from our friendly crewmembers.”The A320 cabin will closely follow JetBlue’s A321 cabin design, which was introduced in 2014. It includes Pinnacle seats from B/E Aerospace with moveable headrests that slide up, down and wrap around; LED cabin lighting; and a modern interior colour palette.The new A320 configuration will include 162 seats, revised from the original plan of 165. Fifteen all-core A321 aircraft will be configured with 200 seats. The A321 Mint aircraft configuration will not change.JetBlue and Airbus will add the new Space Flex v2 and seating configuration to all-core A321 aircraft in the second half of 2016. The A320 restyling will begin in early 2017 with an estimated completion-date of 2019.