Air India Chooses Thales AVANT Up IFE For Over 50 Widebody Aircraft

Estimated read time 4 min read


  •  Air India selects Thales’ AVANT Up IFE for 51 widebody aircraft to enhance passenger experience.
  •  The carrier’s larger refurbishment project aims to address substandard in-flight services, with $400 million budget allocated for improvements.
  •  Air India recently also revealed its new in-flight content library as well as amenity kits.

Air India continues to make progress towards its goals of providing an enhanced in-flight experience to its passengers. The airline has revealed that Thales’ AVANT Up in-flight entertainment systems will be used for dozens of its widebody aircraft, both new and old.

IFE upgrade

Air India has announced that it has selected Thales’ AVANT Up in-flight entertainment for 51 widebody aircraft as it looks to upgrade its product offerings. The airline’s 40 existing aircraft – Boeing 777s and 787s – as well as eleven new planes – 787s and Airbus A350s – will all get the new IFEs.

Air India Boeing 777 at Toronto Pearson International Airport YYZ shutterstock_1835843680

Photo: sockagphoto | Shutterstock

Thales’ AVANT Up features Optiq, 4K QLED HDR displays designed to provide a great viewing experience during a flight. Optiq features in-screen USB-A and USB-C high-speed charging ports and is the only display with two Bluetooth connections and built-in WiFi. The airline explains that with Optiq, passengers can pair their wireless headphones or other devices to the display while charging their phones and laptops. Rajesh Dogra, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Air India, commented,

“Air India is committed to providing a world-class travel experience to its passengers. Partnering with Thales for its top-of-the-class AVANT Up inflight entertainment systems is a step in the direction of our transformation programme. This latest inflight entertainment technology will allow us to stay at the forefront of aviation technology and will help us provide our passengers with a unique onboard entertainment system.”

Enhanced experience

Air India also recently unveiled the in-flight content library for some of its Boeing 777 and A350 aircraft. It said that the offering comprises over 2,200 hours of entertainment content, including 1000 hours of movies, 600 hours of TV, and 600 hours of audio.

This includes the most extensive library of Indian content ranging from Bollywood blockbusters to other regional classics, as well as around 200 Hollywood movies, including BAFTA and Oscar-winning titles. Over 900 episodes of Western, Indian, and International TV shows are part of the new offering, including a selection from popular streaming and OTT platforms.

Before that, the carrier also revealed the new amenity kits that will roll out in the middle of this year on its international flights. Apart from the exclusively designed kits, Air India’s new offerings will also include luxurious and sustainable bedding, as well as new Chinaware, cutlery, and glassware.

The new kits will roll out on international flights in the middle of this year.

Larger refurbishment project

In 2022, Air India announced that it had set aside a budget of $400 million to refurbish its Boeing 777 and 787 fleet. As part of the carrier’s larger turnaround project called Vihaan.AI, the aircraft will start going through these changes this year.

For the longest time, Air India customers have complained about substandard in-flight services and options. Dilapidated and broken interiors and malfunctioning IFEs have been recurring issues with Air India’s older fleet.

Air India 787 LHR

Photo: Abdul N Quraishi – Abs | Shutterstock

But under the new management, things are progressing gradually. The scope for improvement is immense, so Air India’s new owners have their task cut out for them. Hopefully, we’ll see substantial changes in the next couple of years.

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