June 16 2023  |  Screens & Devices

United Airlines selects Astrova IFE from Panasonic Avionics for long-haul international fleet

By Alex Preston

Mark Muren, Managing Director - Identity, Product, and Loyalty at United Airlines (left) and Ken Sain, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation (right)

United Airlines is to become the first airline customer in the Americas for Panasonic’s new Astrova inflight engagement solution.

The agreement builds upon the airline’s previous commitment in 2021 to install Panasonic Avionics’ X Series and NEXT IFE systems on both widebody and narrowbody aircraft, and taken together, represents the largest ever investment in Panasonic Avionics’ IFE by any airline.

United plans to install Astrova on select new Boeing 787 and Airbus A321XLR aircraft beginning in 2025.

Collectively, these agreements cover both line-fit and retrofit installations across United’s fleet and are part of United Next, which is enhancing the passenger experience on narrowbody aircraft flown in domestic and short-haul international markets. The United Next program includes seatback entertainment screens at every seat — First Class has 13-inch monitors, while economy has 10-inch monitors, larger overhead bins, high speed Wi-Fi, USB outlets at every seat, Bluetooth audio connections for in-flight entertainment, and LED lighting throughout the cabin.

Astrova is the first IFE solution to offer 4K OLED technology. The image quality is sharper, clearer, with an infinite contrast ratio, which delivers cinema-grade colors and the perfect black. It also creates a fully immersive experience for passengers with high fidelity 3D spatial audio delivered by Panasonic Avionics’ latest Bluetooth technology, together creating the pinnacle of IFE experiences, unmatched in the industry.

United’s passengers will also enjoy up to 100 W of DC power via USB-C at their seat, providing the ability to fast charge the latest phones and tablets, and laptops through all phases of flight.

“Our customers tell us that they want to be engaged, entertained and productive in the air,” said Mark Muren, Managing Director - Identity, Product, and Loyalty at United Airlines, in a June 6 press release. “Our new partnership with Panasonic Avionics will make that possible and enable us to set a new standard of in-flight excellence as a key part of United Next. Together United and Panasonic will drive new standards of engagement when customers come onboard a United aircraft.”

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