With delivery of its first A321neo last week Middle East Airlines (MEA) launches a new generation of inflight services. The carrier’s nine A321neo aircraft include personal seat-back entertainment screens and will be the airline’s first ever to offer inflight wifi connectivity on board. Panasonic Avionics was selected to provide these services.
We are happy to partner again with Panasonic Avionics. MEA’s new aircraft is equipped with the state-of-the-art inflight entertainment systems including WiFi connectivity for the first time, reflecting the company’s ambition to provide customers with the best products the industry has to offer.– Mohamad El Hout, Chairman – Director General of MEA
eX1 and eXConnect on board
MEA’s nine new A321neo aircraft will be fitted with the Panasonic Avionics (PAC) eX1 inflight entertainment and eXConnect inflight connectivity solutions at the Airbus factory prior to delivery. The eX1 platform is optimized for single-aisle aircraft. It features full HD screens at every seat, powered by individual handsets or the touch-screen display. Each seat also includes USB or universal 110V power outlets.
For wifi services the MEA planes offer PAC’s eXConnect platform, powered by the company’s Global Communications Suite offering. This includes the new(ish) Newtec modem announced in 2016. The upgraded modem delivers significantly improved performance, removing it as a bottleneck in the communications channel between the aircraft and the ground.
Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, calls attention to the deal, noting “The Middle East is a dynamic and strategically important region,” for the company. “We are delighted to be partnering with Middle East Airlines to enhance the passenger experience on their A321 family aircraft with our world-class inflight entertainment and connectivity.”
Spacious seating, too
The MEA A321neo cabin features 28 business class seats and 132 economy class seats on board. That is a relatively spacious configuration on an aircraft that can seat up to 240 passengers in a single-cabin layout.
But the carrier stopped short of choosing flat-beds in the business class cabin. Perhaps that will change with the A321XLR orders planned for the future.
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