Garuda Indonesia A330neo aircraft

Garuda Indonesia A330neo aircraft. Image via Airbus

APEX Insight: Thales is expanding its reach in Asia Pacific, a market that will require a range of capabilities to keep up with the massive growth ahead.

Thales announced at the Singapore Airshow today that Garuda Indonesia has selected its AVANT IFE System for linefit installation on 14 Airbus A330neo aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2019.

The IFE system will feature Thales’ new lightweight high definition (HD) monitors. Business-class passengers will also have touchscreen Avii handsets. The android platform supports multiple languages and features applications including an interactive 3D map and an e-reader.

“Thales is pleased to work with Garuda and help accelerate their digital journey by delivering state-of-the art in-flight entertainment.” – Dominique Giannoni, Thales InFlyt Experience

“We are excited to partner with Garuda Indonesia, the world class airline rich in service culture,” said Dominique Giannoni, CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience. “As the carrier evolves digitally and implements the latest technologies to enhance the travel experience for passengers, Thales is pleased to work with Garuda and help accelerate their digital journey by delivering state-of-the art in-flight entertainment.”

This is a first-time contract between Thales and Garuda. Thales maintains an office in Jakarta that supports the air traffic management and telecommunications satellites for civil customers and is a long-term provider of defense solutions to the Indonesian air force, army and navy.

Thales also announced a seven-year contract with Airbus. Thales’ MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) hub in Singapore will serve as Airbus’ subcontractor in the Asia-Pacific region – excluding mainland China – to perform repairs of Airbus’ avionics on single-aisle, long-range and A350 aircraft.

By relying on Thales’ MRO hub to support its aircraft, Airbus can support quick turn times on complex avionics maintenance operations, to the advantage of airline operators and aircraft owners in a booming market. Airbus predicts demand in Asia Pacific will increase from 6,100 aircraft by 2026 to 14,200 by 2036, of which 41% will be new aircraft deliveries.

“It takes decades … to develop the kind of skills needed to best serve [Airbus’] critical requirements.” – Eric Huber, Thales

“It takes decades of hard work and dedication to develop the kind of skills needed to best serve [Airbus’] critical requirements,” says Eric Huber, Thales’ vice-president, Avionics Activities Worldwide.

Thales’ Singapore location is the largest facility in its MRO network, which includes three repair hubs and 22 dedicated repair centers. Located in Changi North Rise, it handles repairs and maintenance on over 40,000 components per year. The hub also produces key systems for the Airbus A320, A350 and Boeing 787 fleets on site.

Marisa Garcia was once locked in a hangar in Oberpfaffenhofen while fine-tuning Gandalf’s new seats. Seriously. The firemen got her out. Writing is less confining, but she has lovely memories of those hands-on days.