Following the announcement of Panasonic Avionic’s extended agreement with China Telecom Satellite (CTS) for connectivity over Chinese airspace, the airline announces that China Eastern Airlines will increase its Panasonic eXConnect commitment to 84 planes.
China Eastern Airlines was an instrumental partner for Panasonic in the establishing of the necessary agreements and regulatory approvals to offer Wi-Fi on flights overflying China, and was the first airline to offer Panasonic’s Ku-band satellite Wi-Fi eXConnect service in the region.
Last November China Eastern announced it would equip 20 of its Boeing 777-300ERs with Panasonic Wi-Fi, and the extension to a total of 84 planes includes 35 line-fit aircraft and 49 aircraft retrofit as follows:
- One B737-800 (retrofit)
- Four B767-330 (retrofit)
- Two B767-300ER (line-fit)
- 20 B777-300 (line-fit)
- 31 A330-200 (retrofit)
- 11 A330 -300 (retrofit)
- 15 A330-300 (line-fit)
“We have been helping China Eastern Airlines offer connected flights since November 2015 and remain the only provider operating over China today. Passengers increasingly expect the availability of reliable broadband Wi-Fi around the world and the roll out of this service across the China Eastern fleet will enable it to provide a connected service for its passengers,” says Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation.
Panasonic’s Global Communications services cover 99.6% of all air traffic routes, including service across China and over oceans, and is the only global broadband Wi-Fi available in every country in the world today.
“China Eastern Airlines is committed to transforming the inflight experience for our passengers. We are constantly working with partners to discover new ways to engage passengers and to maximise the benefits of the connected aircraft. We look forward to the continued development of this extremely exciting service with the team at Panasonic Avionics,” says Zhang Chi, Deputy Director of China Eastern Airlines’ Transformation Office.
With this new service onboard, China Eastern Airlines customers can access the Internet, use email, and connect on Social Media in-flight. The connectivity service also offers the airline an advantage in flight operation communications and opens up new possibilities for connectivity enabled in-flight retail and personalisation services.
As an example, Finnair (which also offers Panasonic Avionics eXConnect high-speed Wi-Fi on its new A350XWB planes and will extend the service through the fleet) has introduced creative Wi-Fi enabled in-flight retail through exclusive partnerships with Finnish fashion brands.