Hong Kong Airlines celebrated the beginning of a new tranche of A350s this week, bringing new inflight products to the carrier. The airline’s early A350 deliveries were originally built for Azul; the current set were meant for HK Airlines all along. That means different seats, entertainment systems and inflight connectivity kit on board.
Exciting day. Our new Business Class seat is here! You will start to see it on some of our Los Angeles flights in a couple of weeks.✈️ pic.twitter.com/kxOEfYFFv3
— Hong Kong Airlines (@hkairlines) September 4, 2018
The new business class seat is the Super Diamond product from Rockwell Collins. First announced as the on-board product in late 2016 the seat offers direct aisle access for all passengers and 17″ screens on the Thales AVANT IFE system. The seats convert to a 78″ fully flat bed for passengers to sleep.
Our latest Business Class offering and state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system is the result of an ambitious effort to revamp our premium services for our customers. These are significant investments for the Company, and will help lead Hong Kong Airlines into a new decade of success. – Mr. Wang Liya, Hong Kong Airlines Vice Chairman and President
AVANT will provide Hong Kong Airlines’ passengers a customizable experience and robust selection of features and applications. The system also features the Avii Touch Passenger Media Unit. Avii provides intuitive navigation, full android smartphone look and feel, and acts as a second entertainment screen.
The Thales AVANT IFE system is accompanied by a new wifi connectivity option for the carrier as well. Given the tie between connectivity and entertainment on the A350 line a Thales-based connectivity solution is obvious. And the Inmarsat Global Xpress offering is the clear choice for Thales to provide when a global coverage footprint is required; the provider’s home-grown Ka-band solution only offers coverage in the Americas.
The addition of AVANT and GX, as well as the new seat, create something of a PaxEx challenge as the A350 sub-fleets will now carry different connectivity and entertainment options; the prior deliveries carry the Panasonic Avionics kit on board.
Hong Kong Airlines’ new Business Class product on its latest A350 will be deployed on the Bangkok route for crew familiarization during its first month of operation. Following that, the aircraft will serve Los Angeles regularly.