Dubai Airshow: Saudia upgrades the passenger experience

Saudi Arabian Airlines signed two major deals here aimed at enhancing the passenger experience on its upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and A321XLR aircraft.

Time Aerospace thumbnail

The first is for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation connectivity solution; the second is with Panasonic Avionics to provide its 4K and Bluetooth audio in-flight entertainment systems.

Captain Ibrahim Koshy, chief executive of Saudia, said: “As the national flag-carrier, Saudia is constantly innovating to support our fleet’s growth plans and was recently named the world’s most improved airline of 2021 by Skytrax, the second time we have been awarded this honour in recent years.

“Inmarsat’s GX Aviation and OneFi solutions, together with GDC Advanced Technology’s next-generation terminal, will ensure our passengers have access to world-class connectivity on all flights operated by our new A321s.”

The first installation of the product is expected in late 2022.
Panasonic’s NEXT IFE system will be delivered to Saudia, which, in addition to the full cabin advanced high-definition experience, will also feature Bluetooth audio streaming, allowing Saudia customers to unlock a library of premium entertainment options safely, using their own Bluetooth-enabled headphones.

Ken Sain, chief executive of Panasonic Avionics, said: “We are very excited to extend our relationship with Saudia to this new fleet of aircraft and deliver the hardware and digital services that help ensure passengers’ expectations are exceeded by the best-in-class services available today and into the future.”

Panasonic is already the IFE provider for Saudia’s fleet of A320s and Boeing 787-10s.