Singapore Airlines’ A350: the IFE details

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) is celebrating the entry into service of its new medium-haul A350-900 aircraft, and as always, the airline has created a benchmark passenger experience. Let’s take a look at the IFE offering…

The 303-seat mid-haul A350s will be equipped with the Avant IFE system from Thales, featuring an personalized user experience customized for Singapore Airlines. The 40 seats in business class are fitted with 17in high-definition touchscreen monitors, with second-screening enabled by the handset, which looks and operates in a similar way to a consumer smartphone. In economy class, the 263 seats will feature 11.6in touchscreen monitors.

The hardware will be familiar to passengers who have used Avant before, but the user interface – named ‘Signature’ – is unique to Singapore Airlines, designed to be intuitive and enhanced through additional navigational options. For example, the Media Filter function enables passengers to locate desired media by filtering content through the various categories, genres, languages and available flight duration (useful given that the content system features more than 1,800 items, including movies, TV shows, music, games and apps), while the Flight Info Map enables users to bring up flight info on the display without interrupting their movie or TV program on the media player. Another bespoke SIA feature is Air Mouse, a function for the business class systems whereby the touchscreen handset functions as a remote control by directing the onscreen cursor on the seatback monitor.

SIA’s A350-900 medium-haul passengers can also enjoy high-speed Ka-band connectivity, enabled by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, and to ensure that the performance of the IFE and connectivity systems do not disappoint passengers, Thales is also providing turnkey maintenance support and services through its FlytCARE service, including line maintenance, software and media content loading, repairs and support from its Singapore Customer Support Center.

“Innovation has always been at the forefront for Singapore Airlines in delivering the best experience for our customers. Through this partnership with Thales, we are excited to equip our new A350-900 medium-haul aircraft with the latest IFEC innovation systems to reinforce SIA’s product leadership and ensure a differentiated experience for SIA customers,” said SIA’s SVP of customer experience, Yeoh Phee Teik.

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Alasdair joined the team in 2015 and works across a number of titles and websites for UKi Media & Events. He has been a journalist for 10 years, covering everything from travel and technology to sport and entertainment, and brings a wealth of experience, and pedantry, to the team. Away from the office, he is a celebrated snood connoisseur, determined to cycle no matter what the weather decides to hurl from the sky, and driven by a quest to find the very finest, and more importantly the next, slice of cheesecake.

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