Qatar Airways, the national carrier of State of Qatar and one of the most rapidly growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world, has selected the latest solution from Donica and Display Interactive to equip its medium-haul fleet with a wireless IFE service.
The company started rolling out wireless IFE platform on its fleet of A319 and A320 aircraft in February, with first commercial flights already operated. The fleet has been retrofitted with the latest hardware and software platform from Donica and Display Interactive, which will therefore provide passengers with new entertainment options on such flights.
This decision is consistent with the vision developed by His Excellency Akbar Al-Baker, Group CEO of Qatar Airways, when he declared in October 2015 that the future of IFE will be a fully connected, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model: “Everything streamed (…) I think this is the way forward.”
The rationale behind this statement included weight considerations, excessive cost of legacy IFE systems, and service issues. Ultimately, considering technology improvements, Al-Baker envisioned a future when each passenger can stream on his/her device a unique mix of on-line sources and airline-provided content.
Further to a live demo of combined Donica / Display Interactive solution during Hamburg Aircraft Interiors in 2017, the decision to install on a sub-fleet of medium-haul aircraft was reached, and program was completed in just nine months, with aircraft retrofitted nose to tail in late February and early March by Qatar Airways engineering teams.
“From an engineering perspective, the new CNSU by Donica was definitely an option to consider, with its in-cabin wall-mounted server and control panel” explains Billy Vauls, Director of Engineering at Donica International. “This solution does not only make sense from a technical perspective, but also from an economical one, especially when you take in consideration the ease for content and software updates”, confirms Tarek El Mitwalli, CEO at Display Interactive.
The Cabin Network System Unit (CNSU), which will be demoed at AIX 2018, merges a powerful media server into a single component, along with a sophisticated crew management panel, upload and update interfaces, and a dual modem for wireless communications. The combination of Donica’s technologically advanced hardware with Display Interactive’s UGO software service, already deployed by a number of operators in Europe and in Asia, provides an innovative solution on the market, scalable and flexible enough to appeal operators, including Tier 1 airlines.
“We are honoured to provide service to such an exclusive carrier” mentions Thierry Carmes, COO at Display Interactive. “We did our best efforts to meet the very high level of requirement of Qatar Airways, and learned a lot from this experience. We are committed that this new IFE service will support continuous improvement for their customers and their team members.”
About Display Interactive: Founded in 2007, Display Interactive leveraged long-standing relationship with major consumer brands to apply experience and skills to the inflight entertainment (IFE), starting in 2013. Our vision is to help operators regain control on their inflight entertainment operations, and fully benefit from the digital world – through simplicity, flexibility, and economics. Our UGO turnkey IFE solution is designed to serve airlines and help them adapt to changing passengers expectations and evolving technologies. In 2017, and in addition to existing customers, UGO was selected and installed on French airlines Corsair and Joon (Air France group).
To learn more, visit www.ugo.aero, or come and meet us on booth 2E70 at Hamburg AIX 2018.