WestJet rolls out PED-based IFEC system

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July 31, 2015 – WestJet has begun rolling out WestJet Connect, its new inflight entertainment system from Panasonic Avionics, featuring wireless Internet connectivity and more than 450 movies and television programs. The system will be activated on all of WestJet’s Boeing 767ER aircraft and more than 30% of its B737NG fleet by end of 2015, with installations on the majority of the B737 fleet expected to be completed in 2016.

“The launch of WestJet Connect is an important next step in the evolution of our guest experience,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet’s commercial EVP. “Business travellers will appreciate Internet connectivity with global reach that’s not limited to terrestrial towers over land; they have the opportunity to be constantly in contact anywhere in WestJet’s world. WestJet Connect is also a great solution for our leisure travellers. Personal electronic devices have become universal and our guests now have access to hundreds of movies and TV shows right to their own device, which will make travelling with the whole family a breeze. Also, our live television channels will enable business and leisure travellers to stay in touch with real-time business and other news.”

Left: The IFE system will add to the WestJet B737 onboard experience, which includes the Boeing Sky Interior option

Mobile devices and tablets using either iOS or Android operating systems will need the latest version of the WestJet app prior to boarding. Guests will also be able to access WestJet Connect using their laptops. Tablet rentals will be available on flights longer than three hours and 20 minutes for guests who do not have their own device. The WestJet app will take guests to the WestJet Connect home page where they can begin accessing content. Seats on WestJet Connect-equipped aircraft have 110-volt and/or USB power outlets, allowing guests the opportunity to charge or power their devices.

At launch, WestJet Connect will feature 85 movies and 329 TV programs, including expanded content in French. Content will be refreshed on a monthly basis and will be offered at no charge for an introductory period. The system’s Internet connectivity will be available at an introductory price of CAD$7.99 plus applicable taxes for the duration of each flight.

“WestJet Connect will continue to evolve in the months and years ahead,” said Marshall Wilmot, WestJet’s SVP of marketing and digital. “We look forward to adding more movies and live satellite TV channels, as well as a three-dimensional moving map, games, books and electronic magazines including, of course, WestJet Magazine.”

Once installation is complete, WestJet Connect will be available on all WestJet flights operated on B737NG or B767ER aircraft.

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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