Safran reported its 2018 annual results today, including an update on the integration of aircraft interiors specialist Zodiac Aerospace following the merger last year. Among the bits reported were additional orders for the RAVE inflight entertainment system. Two new airlines will see the system installed on nearly 100 aircraft in the coming years. While Safran did not disclose the customers for those orders the answers are relatively clear.
A major Middle-East airline selected the RAVE inflight entertainment system (IFE) for its future 50 A320neo. A major European airline also selected Safran IFE system for the new cabin of its A350 and A330 fleet in 2019 and for its A380 fleet from 2020.
Middle East A320neos
In the Middle East only Qatar Airways has a sufficiently large order for the A320neo type to fit the bill. The carrier up-gauged its order in late 2017 to the A321neo ACF type, offering more seats and longer range than its current A320ceo fleet. Ten of those fifty frames were converted to the LR model earlier this year, giving Qatar Airways even more range with which to work the fleet.
European wide bodies
In Europe there are only three A380 operators – Air France, Lufthansa and British Airways – and only the first is set to retrofit its cabins. It is also known to have the newest version of the RAVE kit already installed on its retrofit A330 fleet, making that an easy conclusion to draw.
The Air France fleet should see see 15 A330s retrofit five of its A380s. The carrier has 21 A350s on order. Previously flagged for its Joon brand, those are now to be delivered to Air France as Joon is dead.
Separately, Safran reported that “The operational recovery made progress in 2018 notably for the deliveries of A220 cabin, of the A350 lavatories and of the SpaceFlex v2 product for A320 and A321.” These product deficiencies caused significant delays in new aircraft deliveries and retrofit projects for airlines. It appears that the most significant of those challenges are now in the past.