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TopSeries orders top the thousand, says Thales

13th January 2009 - 17:32 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Thales Avionics says that in the past five years it has received orders from 45 airlines for more than a thousand shipsets of its TopSeries IFE hardware.

The Irvine, California-based operation expects its customer base to expand further this year, and says it will be working to add new capabilities such as passenger personalisation, iPod integration, and provision for airline revenue generation to TopSeries. It is also planning new developments at its round-the-clock Airline Operations Centre (AOC) in Irvine, as well as an increase in the number of “meet and greet” service centres at airports.

Entering the inflight entertainment business in the late 1990s, Thales has since outdistanced Rockwell Collins, which has withdrawn from the widebody IFE market, and is now challenging the supremacy of current No 1 Panasonic.

The latter continues to do well with its eX2 (widebody AVOD), eFX (narrowbody AVOD) and MPES (narrowbody broadcast) systems, having announced several significant orders in the past six months. But Thales continues a sometimes spectacular advance – in November it received a massive order from British Airways for TopSeries installations in new Boeing 777s and 787s and Airbus A380s.

While the two providers are neck-and-neck in the race to equip the A380s ordered to date - Air France and Etihad as well as BA have specified TopSeries, with China Southern, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas selecting eX2 – Thales has a clear lead in 787 selections, claiming more than 70 per cent of the carriers that have made announcements.     

As well as TopSeries, Thales offers TopConnect connectivity, TopEffect content services and TopServices support. TopConnect integrates Inmarsat SwiftBroadband L-band satellite capability and WiMAX into TopSeries to support, respectively, inflight passenger connectivity and IFE content refresh and other operational and administrative communications on the ground.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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