French aerospace giant Thales is to provide Qatar Airways with state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems in a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the companies announced on Wednesday.
In the deal, signed at the Dubai airshow, Thales is to install its latest product, AVANT, on 80 Airbus A350s, ordered by Qatar’s flagship airline at the airshow.
AVANT provides high-definition video and allows passengers to plug in smart phones and digital tablettes directly into their in-flight entertainment system.
The deal terms were not revealed, but the AVANT system typically costs about $10,000 per seat, according to industry experts.
Depending on the version, an A350 carries between 270 and 300 passengers. If all seats were equipped with it, that would bring the contract’s value to about $240 million.
The A350, a new fuel-efficient model, is due for delivery in 2014. Thales, along with Panasonic, is a world leader in in-flight multimedia systems.