Cathay Pacific In Deal With Panasonic Avionics To Bring Broadband, Mobile Access to Passengers On Board

July 8, 2010, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Flying to Asia in 2012? If you haven’t some travel plans lined up, you could think of buying tickets for Cathay Pacific Airways. For, Cathay Pacific has inked a deal with Panasonic Avionics Corporation so as to bring to passengers the provision of full broadband connectivity. The feature will be made available on all Cathay Pacific and Dragonair passenger aircraft. The provision is expected to be up and running by the early months of 2012.

When the new deal comes into effect, Cathay Pacific will be the first airline in Asia to deploy Panasonic Avionics’ Global Communications Suite broadband connectivity solution. Significant is the fact that Cathay Pacific is also the first global airline gearing up to bring in the solution across its full fleet. The deal will soon be in place and the final negotiations are on. All it would need would be regulatory approval to go on stream.

We learn that the deal between the airline and Panasonic Avionics also provides for providing connectivity for passengers along with promotional, sponsorship and e-commerce opportunities for Cathay Pacific partner brands. Panasonics will be bringing in the eXConnect broadband service, eXPhone GSM phone service, and a CX-branded free-of-charge entertainment portal for passengers to access on the devices they carry on board and also via seatback screens. While  eXConnect would allow for two-way broadband connectivity supporting a wide range of passenger and crew applications, including Internet access, voice, data, and the ability to monitor and transmit airline operational data in real time at speeds of up to 50 Mbps to the aircraft, the eXPhone, which will be brought in through AeroMobile’s GSM technology, would let allows passengers use their mobile phones, smart phones and BlackBerry devices onboard to make voice calls, send SMS text messages or utilise data services.

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