The Belgian Ministry of Defence has contracted Airbus to provide satellite communications services for 15 years.
AirAsia X sets IFE/connectivity standard
Malaysian long-haul low-fare operator AirAsia X has just taken delivery of a new Airbus A330-300 that from next year will offer as good a combination of IFE and connectivity as any airliner in service.
The first of a total of 25 on order, the twinjet is equipped with Thales’ TopSeries audio/video-on-demand system, bringing to every seat a 8.9in touchscreen, a USB connection, audio and video entertainment, games, an interactive moving map, shopping and inter-seat chat.
Thales is also supplying its TopFlight Inmarsat satcoms system to support the OnAir onboard GSM service from next year. The service, which will also be introduced on the A320s of parent company Air Asia, will enable passengers to use their mobile phones and BlackBerry-type devices to send and receive text messages and emails, and to make and receive voice calls.
“We firmly believe that offering our passengers the ability to communicate in flight is vital in this era of information technology,” AirAsia deputy chief executive Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun said earlier this year
AirAsia X’s A330s will be used to link Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur with destinations in Australia, North Asia, the Middle East and Europe, complementing the existing AirAsia regional network. They will be configured for a total of 383 passengers, with 355 seats in economy and 28 in the airline’s XL premium class.
The AirAsia Group has 200 Airbuses on firm order – the A330s plus 175 A320s.
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