Press release: Qatar Airways selects Panasonic Astrova IFE for its 777X fleet
Qatar Airways announced today that it has signed an agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) for its revolutionary in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution, Astrova, designed to improve passenger engagement and increase operational efficiency. Qatar’s fleet of 40 Boeing 777x aircraft is the first aircraft type to offer this cutting-edge innovation. With this agreement, Qatar is the first airline to sign as a launch customer in the world.
Panasonic Avionics’ Astrova demonstrates the company’s new approach to market by helping airlines find a powerful and targeted way to interact with their passengers through IFE. By also reimagining the ownership experience, airlines will benefit from faster on-wing upgrades and maintenance, uniformity in the loading of supports, spares and repairs, and discounts weight reductions compared to other seat end architectures. Astrova’s selection also underscores Qatar Airways’ continued commitment to the environment and sustainability, and responds directly to both companies’ efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Panasonic Avionics’ all-new IFE seat end solution features cinema-grade 4K OLED with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) experience. With perfect blacks and cinematic colors in its palette, OLED technology is widely regarded as the ultimate in display quality. With 22-inch screens in Business Class and 13-inch in Economy Class, passengers in Qatar will immerse themselves in stunning visuals further enhanced with HDR for the best possible home theater experience.
Astrova’s unparalleled video performance is complemented by Panasonic Avionics’ high-fidelity audio, which will deliver high-definition sound over both traditional wired connections and Panasonic Avionics’ award-winning Bluetooth technology.
The monitor is a singular design with smooth curves and soft rounded touch points, which invite passengers to engage in the entertainment and experience of the Qatar brand. It also offers programmable LED lighting that allows airlines to optimize the cabin environment to complement different phases of flight with synchronized animated sequences to enhance passenger experience and reduce eye strain.
The new system is designed to stay on top of consumer trends and in-flight entertainment products and services throughout its lifespan. Key hardware and software components have been designed to evolve over time to meet changing market demands and ever-increasing passenger expectations. This helps ensure that travelers will still be able to seamlessly interface their personal devices with the IFE system to create the same omnichannel, multiscreen, and versatile environment they are used to at home.
For example, a removable peripheral bar allows Astrova to easily scale to allow users to interact with the solution over time. This means that passengers will still be able to quickly charge their devices with USB power, even if new power requirements are introduced. Additionally, this key feature means that passengers will be able to connect headphones or devices even if Bluetooth technologies or standards change.
Finally, Astrova is a seamless blend of newly developed hardware, software and enterprise solutions that revolutionize the inflight entertainment experience. Qatar will be able to offer the latest digital solutions and applications that meet the personal and business needs of passengers every time they board an aircraft.
Ken Sain, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted that Qatar Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines, has selected Astrova for its fleet of 777x aircraft. Through our IFE innovation, Qatar Airways can leverage the latest consumer innovations to deliver unique passenger experiences to increase net promoter scores, improve passenger engagement, increase revenue and achieve even greater operational efficiency thanks to the IFE. We are very honored to launch this exciting new product and for Qatar to be the first to sign on as a launch customer for the 777x aircraft type.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Panasonic Avionics Corporation has a long history of developing market-leading IFE solutions, and today we are delighted to announce that Qatar Airways will be the launch customer for new Astrova displays on board our Boeing 777x fleet. Our partnership demonstrates our commitment to providing an unparalleled customer experience. This state-of-the-art solution will provide our passengers with cinema-quality 4K OLED clarity that will captivate them when watching our latest blockbusters using the Oryx One IFE system.
The selection of Astrova, by Panasonic Avionics, underlines Qatar Airways’ continued commitment to the environment and sustainability. The airline’s corporate strategy has been at the forefront of international news. Some of the airline’s 2021-2022 sustainability achievements include:
- The first carrier in the Middle East to join the IATA Turbulence Aware data exchange platform
- The first carrier from the Middle East to join ICAO’s Global Coalition for Sustainable Aviation
- The first carrier to trade carbon on the IATA Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE) through IATA Clearing House (ICH) to open a new chapter in driving innovation towards environmental sustainability and voluntary carbon offset programs
- The first freight carrier to join the IATA CO2NNECT platform offering a new voluntary carbon offset program for air freight shipments
- Rolling out our bespoke e-learning program to raise staff awareness of environmental sustainability
- Working with the oneworld® Alliance in developing the overall path to net zero emissions by 2050, and committing to a collective goal of using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for 10% of fuel combined by 2030
- The successful free transport of seven lions to nature reserves in South Africa, as part of our Rewild the Planet initiative, as part of the WeQare sustainability program
These important initiatives, together with Qatar Airways’ commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, strengthen its position in playing a leading role in protecting the planet for future generations, ensuring that these issues are addressed. firmly rooted in its corporate culture and customer-oriented services. .
Panasonic Avionics’ Astrova will host Qatar Airways’ award-winning Oryx One (IFE) system; offering passengers over 5,000 entertainment options, including the latest blockbuster movies, TVs, games and more. Passengers can also stay in touch with friends and family around the world using the airline’s onboard Super Wi-Fi and GSM service. The Oryx One app is available for download from Google Play and Apple App Stores, providing access to entertainment listings and downloadable digital content 24/7.
About Qatar Airways
A multi-award-winning airline, Qatar Airways has been named ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2021 World Airline Awards, managed by international airline rating organization, Skytrax. It was also named “World’s Best Business Class”, “World’s Best Business Class Lounge”, “World’s Best Business Class Seat”, “World’s Best Business Class Inflight Catering” and “Best Airline”. Middle East Airline. The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry after winning the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021).
Qatar Airways has also become the first global airline in the world to earn Skytrax’s prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Aviation Safety Rating. This follows Hamad International Airport’s success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to receive a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These awards assure passengers around the world that the airline’s health and safety measures are subject to the highest possible standards of professional and independent review and assessment.
Qatar Airways currently serves more than 140 destinations worldwide, via its Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, currently named “World’s Best Airport” by the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021.
About Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of inflight entertainment and communication systems. The company’s best solutions, backed by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin, enabling its customers to deliver ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions, lower time-to-market and overall costs.
Founded in 1979, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, an American company, is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California, with more than 3,500 employees and operations in 60 global locations, it has supplied more than 15,400 IFE systems and 2,520 in-flight connectivity solutions to the world’s major airlines.
All images credited to Jason Rabinowitz