LAKE FOREST, Calif., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), the world leader in state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment and communication (IFEC) systems, and AeroMobile today announced that Air New Zealand will transform its passengers' in-flight experience through the companies' eXPhone on-board mobile phone solution.
Working with Panasonic and AeroMobile, Air New Zealand will install and obtain FAA certification from Boeing on its incoming fleet of new Boeing 777-300ERs, the first of which is scheduled to enter into service this November. Air New Zealand has five of the aircraft on order, with options for 2 additional aircraft.
The introduction of eXPhone, which is uniquely integrated into Panasonic's eX2 in-flight entertainment (IFEC) system, will enable Air New Zealand's passengers to access their iPhones™, BlackBerrys® and other GSM cellular phones to safely send and receive emails and text messages during flight.
Ed Sims, Group General Manager of Air New Zealand, said: "Feedback from our customers has shown they wish to be able to text, check emails, and stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues during their long-haul flights.
"We're excited to offer customers onboard our new Boeing 777-300 aircraft the ability to use their own GSM/GPRS devices safely when the system is activated during the cruise stage of flight."
Since 2007, when AeroMobile introduced the world's first commercial in-flight cellular service, the technology has proved increasingly popular. More than two million airline passengers have now used AeroMobile services since inception. Over 180 flights now operate daily with AeroMobile. 75 wide body aircraft, spanning Airbus and Boeing airframes, are now equipped with the service.
"We are delighted to secure another go-ahead flag-carrier for our eXPhone solution. We are proud to provide a global solution for the only airline in the world that operates completely around the globe," said Paul Margis, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation.
Bjorn-Taale Sandberg, Chief Executive Officer of AeroMobile, said: "Airlines are increasingly recognising that AeroMobile and Panasonic together offer an unbeatable solution, addressing both near term and future passenger connectivity requirements. Our service is perfectly suited to Air New Zealand and its ultra-long haul passengers, enabling them to stay in touch during unavoidably lengthy flights.
In 2008, Panasonic and AeroMobile won the "Best Achievement in Technology 2008" award from the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA).
About Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world's leading supplier of in-flight entertainment and communication systems. The company's best-in-class solutions, supported by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin enabling airlines to deliver the ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions and lower overall costs.
Established in 1979, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, a US corporation, is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC). Headquartered in Lake Forest, California, with over 2,600 employees and operations in 50 locations worldwide, it serves over 200 customers worldwide and provides IFEC systems on over 3,700 aircraft. For additional information, please visit www.panasonic.aero
AeroMobile Communications Limited is a UK-based company, wholly owned by Telenor Group, the world's 6th largest telecoms company. AeroMobile has offices in the UK, Oslo, Seattle, Dubai and Singapore.
AeroMobile provides world class, proven, technology and services that allow the safe and managed use of passengers own mobile phones and PDAs in-flight. As the market leader our services are available for installation either at the point of aircraft manufacture (forward fit) or on aircraft in service (retrofit) across both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Since 2008 over 2.4 million passengers have used AeroMobile services.
The AeroMobile system is available through Panasonic as an integrated IFEC solution, branded eXPhone. We are in operation today with Emirates Airline and Malaysian Airlines, other announced airline commitments include Lufthansa, V Australia, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Turkish Airlines. More information may be found at www.aeromobile.net.
SOURCE Panasonic Avionics Corporation