PR: Saudi Arabian Airlines partners with Panasonic in IFE deal

So What??

Adding IFE to a short-haul/regional fleet in the Middle East is a nice upgrade. Adding it as overhead screens, however, seems mostly a waste. It is hard to believe that passengers will see this as a compelling value proposition. And Saudia faces challenges from rapidly growing LCC flynas, which makes the competition and comfort angle all that much more pointed.

DUBAI – November 15, 2017 – Dubai Air Show – Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a world leader in inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC), have announced a new 35-aircraft commitment for inflight entertainment across the carrier’s short haul fleet. The carrier has selected Panasonic’s X Series entertainment solutions, specifically, the company’s eXO and eX1 systems, for installation on its various fleets.

Panasonic’s X Series inflight entertainment solutions feature the industry’s largest selection of options including HD monitors, capacitive touch handsets, in-seat power, and ensures a premium experience in every cabin class.

Saudia has also selected Panasonic’s eXO overhead entertainment system to be line-fit installed across 20 Airbus A320neos and 15 A321neos that the airline has on order. This builds on the carrier’s previous commitment in April 2016 when it selected eXO for 30 Airbus A320neo aircraft.



This news follows an earlier order from SAUDIA in which Panasonic will install its eX1 IFE system across the airline’s existing fleet of 7 A320 aircraft.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics Corp., said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with SAUDIA with this exciting, new commitment across their short haul fleet. With our proven track record in delivering innovative inflight entertainment solutions, we will help Saudi Arabian Airlines optimize their investment in next-generation aircraft with an unmatched experience for all their passengers.”

A very small subset of the Saudia A320 fleet will get in-seat monitors; the bulk get overhead screens. (<em>Image via PAC/Saudia</em>)
A very small subset of the Saudia A320 fleet will get in-seat monitors; the bulk get overhead screens. (Image via PAC/Saudia)

The Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said: “SAUDIA’s fleet is undergoing a complete revitalization program, which includes an upgrade to the existing fleet in terms of the inflight entertainment offering and overall onboard experience, “Once the new entertainment solutions by Panasonic are retrofitted on the existing A320 fleet, and new A320 aircraft are delivered, our guests onboard will be able to maximize their time in the sky with a wide range of entertainment solutions to make their onboard journeys even more enjoyable.”



The SAUDIA fleet with A320-NEO/A321-NEO is expected to deliver in Q3 of 2019 and A320 aircraft with eX1 IFE System retrofit is expected to deliver in Q2 of 2018.