November 4, 2015 – Airline Services Interiors has completed the design and integration of Panasonic’s eX3 in-flight entertainment (IFE) system into the first of 18 British Airways Boeing 747 aircraft. The upgrade, which took nine months to complete, features on all classes of passenger seating from World Traveller (economy) through to first class. It is anticipated that all 18 B747s will be refitted by August 2016.
The company was responsible for the design and integration of the new Panasonic IFE mod kits into all classes of cabin seat, design and manufacture of the seat mod kits, as well as certification of the mod kits into the seats. Airline Services Interiors worked with British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (BAMC), which carried out aircraft installation work, and Zodiac NAT, which certified the installation into the aircraft.
Following the inaugural flight in September, British Airways passengers could choose from more than 1,500 hours of entertainment programming on larger, high-resolution screens featuring tablet-style touch-and-swipe controls. As an added advantage, the lightweight design of the system also helps to save fuel.
As part of the upgrade, Airline Services Interiors has integrated new universal power sockets on every seat in World Traveller Plus (premium economy), together with individual USB sockets to allow customers to power their personal devices.
The cabin interiors of the British Airways B747s have also been refreshed so they match those on the airline’s new A380 and B787 aircraft, and Airline Services Interiors has developed new fitted seat covers to improve comfort and appearance.
Trial integration and First Article seat build was carried out at Airline Services Interiors’ Passenger Seating Centre of Excellence, which is co-located with the design and manufacturing teams in Manchester, UK. The company is supporting the seat modification program by British Airways Interiors Engineering at its facility in Blackwood, Wales where the first aircraft was refurbished.