Panasonic Avionics teams up with Qantas for Ultra-Long-Haul flights.

Panasonic Avionics< Panasonic Avionics
04/03/24 2 MIN READ

In 2017, Qantas announced plans to offer direct flights from the east coast of Australia to Europe and New York. At the time, the airline challenged OEMs to deliver an aircraft capable of ultra-long-haul flights which would allow Qantas to revolutionize Australian air travel. This endeavor was codenamed Project Sunrise, celebrating the airline’s long history of endurance flying.

The Airbus A350-1000 was chosen as the preferred aircraft, and 12 aircraft were ordered in May 2022.

For this program, a new in-flight engagement system was needed, and Qantas chose Astrova, Panasonic Avionics’ new IFE solution.

According to Andy Masson, Vice President of Product Management at Panasonic Avionics: “For decades, Qantas and Panasonic Avionics have joined forces to launch game-changing IFE solutions. We immediately understood that these ultra-long-haul routes would bring with them a new set of passenger needs and expectations.

“Working closely with Qantas, our joint mission was to design a system that delivered all the creature comforts of home — everything from cinema grade picture quality to high fidelity audio, and enough power to fast-charge all passenger devices.”

With Astrova, passengers can enjoy the industry’s only OLED 4K screen that is HDR 10+, has an infinite contrast ratio, and perfect blacks for an unmatched viewing experience. High fidelity multi-channel spatial audio technology and full cabin Bluetooth® enables passengers to connect to the system using their personal headphones. Another key feature is up to 100 W of mobile device and laptop fast-charging via USB-C, which is available through all phases of flight.

Astrova is also designed to evolve over time to help protect an airline’s investment. Airlines can continuously upgrade their Astrova systems as new technology versions become available, ensuring their passengers can always enjoy the latest consumer technology and experience they are accustomed to on the ground.

Panasonic Avionics’ new IFE solution also supports airline sustainability efforts by reducing the need to recycle materials and by maximizing system lifespan. Additionally, the significantly lighter weight of Astrova compared to previous IFE systems helps airlines reduce fuel consumption.

Masson added: “Working closely with Qantas, we are extremely excited to offer this engaging, innovative and compelling solution, which supports long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights. Our mission is to deliver the right airline product and passenger experience that includes those memorable moments that help drive net promoter score and brand loyalty. All this and more from a solution that is designed to be lightweight to reduce fuel burn, and yet still evolve and keep pace with technology on the ground.”

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