CanJet is the latest to go underfloor
The latest airline to opt for underfloor IFE installation with the Inflight Canada iCACHE solution is Nova Scotia-based charter carrier CanJet (Inflight Online, January 4).
At the beginning of last year CanJet, which uses a Boeing 737-300 and five -800s for contract and ad hoc charters throughout Canada and the USA, asked Montreal-based Inflight Canada to come up with a proposal for a revenue-generating AVOD installation for two of the -800s. After considering both handheld and overhead systems, the airline selected Rockwell Collins dPAVES, providing broadcast overhead video and in-seat audio.
Inflight Canada was engaged to develop a retrofit installation plan for dPAVES, which had previously been installed by Boeing as a line fit only. “CanJet was particularly concerned about the cost of modifying the16g-certificated seats in the aircraft,” says Inflight Canada president George Smallhorn. “In addition, the aircraft are leased and CanJet wanted to be sure that on returning them to the lessor they could have the option of removing the system with ease.”
The seat question was settled by using iCACHE to locate all the seat electronic boxes and their associated brackets and shrouds beneath the aisle floor, leaving only passenger control units in the seats. “This allowed us to modify the seat assemblies without having to go back at great expense to the seat manufacturer for a service bulletin,” says Smallhorn.
“Eliminating the need to recertificate the seats saved the airline substantial amounts of money,” says Smallhorn. “What’s more, the installation freed large amounts of space beneath the seats and resulted in a less cluttered cabin floor. And the seat electronic boxes are tucked safely away, which will increase reliability.”
CanJet’s concerns about recovering its investment on the return of the aircraft to the lessor were answered by obtaining a supplemental type certificate covering two different configurations – one with the fully installed system, the other with system provision only. “When the time comes to hand the aircraft back CanJet will be free to remove the boxes, trays and racks, and either sell them or reuse them in other aircraft,” Smallhorn explains.
iCACHE has been selected by Air Canada, American Airlines and Virgin America as well as CanJet. To date Inflight Canada has implemented it in 35 Air Canada Airbus A319s, 41 A320s, ten A321s and 27 Boeing 767-300s, plus 58 American 767-300s and a total of 28 Virgin America A319s and A320s. In five of the Air Canada A320s the IFE on offer can be changed from overhead broadcast to full in-seat AVOD and power at the click of a switch.
Air Canada recently committed to implementing the Aircell passenger broadband service in part of its fleet. “Our next project will be the installation of an Aircell system for a trial in two Air Canada A319s,” Smallhorn observes.