The Most Awaited In-flight Entertainment System is Finally Becoming a Reality In PIA

Functionality of entertainment system is one of the gravest challenges for PIA.

The dream of having the best in-flight entertainment system in PIA is finally becoming a reality. From reforms to increased reliability, and from reducing losses to bringing new exciting destinations PIA has frequently been in the news for all the right reasons.

Thriving under the new leadership, the revival of the national entity has indeed increased expectations from the PIA. Absence of an Inflight Entertainment System was one of the most pressing concerns of PIA’s customers.

According to sources, PIA is moving forward towards induction of an indigenous Inflight System and for that reason a contract has been awarded to M/s Aviation Avionics, a Pakistani company developing customized System for the national airline. This would be one of the greatest achievements of Pakistan in the commercial aviation sector.

The Functionality of an adequate entertainment system is one of the gravest challenges for PIA, for which it has to compete with Middle Eastern & Western carriers.

PIA had been trying to upgrade its 777 fleet since a  long time with off-the-shelf available solutions. However, newer systems also require newer seats, thus increasing the cost. PIA would require billions to upgrade even one aircraft, which is a huge challenge for a cash-starved company like PIA.

The cost-effective path for the up-gradation:

The matter was brought to the notice of the Government of Pakistan, which directed PIA to look towards indigenous cost-effective options to undergo this up-gradation. The idea seems more exciting because it will boost the local industries to develop capabilities in line with international aviation and safety standards.

Sources within PIA revealed that work is underway to develop new touch-screen based entertainment systems using the experience and expertise of PIA Engineers please break sentence here  to undergo the modifications required by EGPWS and TCAS modules. The selected service provider will provide the hardware and the requisite safety and operational certifications from the regulators.

PIA Engineering is hopeful that after obtaining this capability, it will be in a position to use PIA aircraft for technology demonstration and for future sales as well. It will be a marked improvement from the current practice of acquiring systems from international sources at exorbitant costs which are very restrictive and quickly become obsolete.

Developing  a system from indigenous sources will give PIA the flexibility to modify; change and trouble shoot the system at will and at marginal costs. The total cost for this project will be PKR 700 Million for a fleet of 8 aircraft which is a fraction of the cost estimation mentioned above.

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