DN - Defence Notes

Triple treat for IMS

2nd September 2008 - 00:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


WITH just days to go to the joint WAEA/Aircraft Interiors Americas show in Long Beach, The IMS Company has seized the handheld IFE high ground by announcing three new customers.

During the summer Aeroméxico, AirAsia X of Malaysia and Italy’s AirOne added themselves to an IMS honours board that already includes US majors American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways, plus Air India, Royal Jordanian, LOT Polish, Jet Airways, Varig, TAM, OpenSkies, Sonair, and Transaero of Russia. The three newcomers have all deployed IMS’ PAV-705 7in-screen device.

Aeroméxico is using the handhelds on its Boeing 767-200s and -300s. “We wanted to offer our business-class passengers an improvement on the existing IFE system,” says customer service VP Antonio Ojeda. “Portables were the most cost-effective and efficient way to do this. We evaluated several different ones and we believe that PAV-705 is the best overall solution – it’s smaller and lighter, and IMS provides the most flexibility on content choice and loading.”

Mexico’s largest airline and only the only one to serve Europe, AeroMexico is offering PAV-705 on its routes to Barcelona, Rome, Madrid, Paris and other European destinations, and to Sao Paulo, Santiago and Buenos Aires in South America. “The extended life battery made coverage on our longer routes possible,” says Ojedo.

Aeroméxico’s content set includes eight movies, games from Montreal-based DTI, music and TV programmes. Languages are Latin American Spanish and English, plus some Italian and French on the European routes.

Kulala Lumpur-based long-haul low-fare carrier AirAsia X at present operates a single Airbus A330 on routes to Australia and China. But it has a total of 25 aircraft on order and plans ultimately to serve destinations across South-east Asia and Asia-Pacific. The IMS players are rented to passengers for US$10 a flight to make up for the lack of an embedded inflight entertainment system in the A330 currently in service.

Rome-based AirOne offers the players free of charge in business class and on a rental basis in economy to augment the overhead video system on the A330s with which it serves routes between Italy and the United States.

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