Thales to Create IFE Venture in China

By Tish Drake | November 17, 2010
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Thales said Tuesday it signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Electronics Technology Avionics, (CETCA) whose parent company is China Electronics technology Corp. (CETC), which will lay the groundwork for the creation of a joint venture company that will integrate the Thales in-flight entertainment (IFE) system in the cabin of COMAC’s upcoming C919.

Designed and built in China, the 156-190 seat C919 will first take flight in 2014 with 2355 forecasted aircraft deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016.

“C919 program is just a start for a new round of cooperation of both parties. Now, China’s civil aviation industry is under fast development, on such background, CETCA believes that the Joint Venture of both parties and C919 program will make a success, and the strategic partnership will be further deepened and consolidated with the joint venture as the platform," said Zeng Li, vice dhief engineer of CETC.

Thales said its installed system will be a scalable platform offering a modular entertainment, which will include interactive audio solutions through to full in-seat on-demand services. Future evolutions of this system may include wireless networks and connectivity.

“The global strength of Thales Group and our investment and growth strategy in partnership with CETCA and COMAC is a strong combination that can ultimately change the landscape of the civil aerospace marketplace in China. We fully expect that there will be strong demand for the C919 in China and we are proud to be part of this new market entry,” said Olivier Guibert, president Thales China and North Asia region.

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