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As India’s Vistara begins its long-haul operations it will bring a new inflight entertainment ecosystem to the passenger cabin. The carrier announced plans to include two new services from Panasonic Avionics (PAC) on the 787 Dreamliner and A321neo planes as they are delivered beginning in 2020. And, perhaps even more interesting, is the bit that will be included that were not included in the press release.
Vistara will be the launch airline for PAC’s new Arc Inflight Map Platform, first announced earlier this year at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. The new take on the inflight map is a 3D experience fully integrated experience within its IFEC eco-system, in particular by aligning it with Panasonic’s Theatre (inflight entertainment) and Marketplace (e-commerce) solutions, all backed by its NEXT Cloud infrastructure. Arc also includes content from partners such as Raleigh & Drake to highlight key points of interest on the map as passengers explore. Integration with PAC’s “Marketplace” concept allows the solution to deliver ancillary revenue potential to the airline as passengers book tours or such through the system as they browse the points of interest on the map.
Innovation and thoughtfulness are the core values of Vistara. Introducing the Arc Inflight Map Platform and Games with Panasonic’s expert capabilities reinforces our commitment to leverage cutting-edge technology for providing a seamless and enjoyable travel experience to our customers.– Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara
The deal also includes the Games platform from Panasonic Avionics, adding a new collection of entertainment options for passengers. The latest iteration of Games takes advantage of the IFE system’s Android operating system to allow for integration of many third-party offerings to the kit. Rather than developing their own games or being stuck with poor implementations of solitaire and poker, PAC can now include kids games from Toca Boca (in an exclusive partnership) or more advanced games from other companies for adults.
The net value of the move is more and better options for passengers on board, hopefully leading to a more pleasant flight. As PAC CTO David Bartlett notes, “We know that passengers who are entertained and engaged in flight are happiest with their travel experience. Arc has completely re-imagined and revolutionized what an inflight map experience can be and Games fully immerses people of all ages inflight, reflecting the future of the passenger experience.”
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Choosing an embedded IFE solution from Panasonic Avionics is a shift from Vistara’s current approach. The carrier is running the Bluebox Wow portable IFE kit on its existing fleet. That system recently received upgrades to better support movie playback. The Bluebox kit is expected to remain on the existing fleet.
The carrier currently holds orders for six 787-9 Dreamliners and thirteen A320neo family frames, plus plans to lease an additional 37 NEOs for a total fleet of 50.
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