October 5 2021  |  Inflight Entertainment

Thales is selling the experience

By Rick Lundstrom

This is a special feature from PAX Tech's October 2021 digital edition, on page 40.

The Avant Up system from Thales will be available for linefit in 2023

With air travel opening up people and again fly internationally in greater numbers, the need for airlines to update inflight offerings with rapidly changing technology will mean greater demand for new products; and companies like Thales Group are ready and waiting for tenders and RFP’s to again roll in.

And the company also is waiting for customers that want to improve the passenger experience with a new end-to-end IFE product called Avant Up that has been generating interest since the announcement of its development at the end of June.

“For the last several months we have been doing a lot of targeted demonstrations with our customers, whether it is at their locations or in Irvine,” said Maria Mellouli, Media Relations and Social Media, Civil and Defence Aerospace.

The company is busy educating potential airline customers about the benefits of the comprehensive solution that brings together partners such as HARMAN, a Samsung Company for the Optiq, 4K high dynamic range (HDR) displays that are part of the package. Passengers will also be able to easily pair the system with their own PED through the two Bluetooth connections. Weight can be cut by nearly a third while Thales says reliability increases by 50 percent.

Another feature is the Pulse modular power management system, which also decreases weight by approximately 30 percent. Thales has built in improvements that gives Pulse more power, improved seat integration and reduced operational costs.

With the digital services platform, users can work with a wide network of partners on interactive entertainment options, e-commerce and advertising opportunities. The company has not forgotten the need for a touchless experience and passengers can access the features of Avant Up through their mobile phones.

“We are really working hard to hit all the value points for the customers,” says Cedric Rhoads, Vice President, Product Policy at Thales InFlyt Experience. “Whether it is improved reliability or lower total cost of ownership, but more specifically a really stellar passenger experience.”

The Avant Up system will be available for line fit in early 2023. However, Rhoads says “our airline customers are just starting to wake up again in terms of putting out RFPs so we definitely have some opportunities in pipeline right now.”

Thales currently has Thales embedded IFE is currently flying on 650 aircraft on 33 airlines. More than 1,250 installations are currently on order.

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