The first of 18 of British Airways’ much-loved Boeing 747s with a refreshed interior and state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system is taking to the skies from Heathrow to New York JFK this week.
The revamped jumbos will now operate on selected flights across cities in the Middle East including Riyadh, Dubai and Kuwait in addition to other international routes such as New York JFK, Chicago, Lagos and Boston, with further routes added in summer 2016.
The aircraft will be fitted with Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system, which will give customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment including more than 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.
Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation also helps to reduce the amount of fuel used by the aircraft.
As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus will now have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. In addition, World Traveller customers will have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.
“With our customers at the centre of everything we do, we’re delighted to have been able to revamp these aircraft – the refreshed 747s offer enhanced comfort, technology and design,” said Paolo De Renzis, Head of Middle East, Africa and Central Asia Sales for British Airways.
Richard D’Cruze, British Airways’ in-flight entertainment and technology manager, said: “We know that in-flight entertainment is really important to our customers – being able to relax and watch a film or listen to music helps customers to pass the time enjoyably – so by installing this state-of-the-art equipment we will be able to deliver even more programming on board.”
The refit, which has been carried out by British Airways’ engineers in Cardiff, will include a cabin interior refresh bringing these 747s more in line with the airline’s newest aircraft.
New seat foams will be installed in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort and new style seat covers fitted to match those on the A380 and 787. Carpets and curtains throughout the plane will also be replaced to mirror the new aircraft colour pallet.