Qatar Airways offers onboard satellite TV

Al Baker

AWARD-WINNING Qatar Airways has become the first international airline in the world to introduce live digital satellite TV beamed direct to every passenger on their individual seatback TV systems at 35,000 feet.

The system offers a multitude of European and Middle East TV channels on five of its fleet of Airbus A330 long-haul aircraft. Channels include BBC World, Disney, EuroNews, CNN, Future TV and Bloomberg.
By the end of the year, 14 aircraft, including the airline’s brand new Airbus A340-600 which has just entered service, will be equipped with the new Rockwell Collins Tailwind 560 satellite television system. Distributed through Showtime Arabia, via the Rockwell Collins system, a further 10 aircraft will be equipped with the service during 2007.
Live television is initially being made available on flights within and between the Middle East and Europe.
Fully independent personalised TV viewing across all three classes, economy, business and first, allows each passenger to select from a suite of premium European and Arabic-language TV channels. The system’s multi-directional antenna allows passengers to enjoy uninterrupted entertainment as their flights pass from Middle Eastern into European airspace.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said, “In this day and age of long-haul international travel, passengers are becoming more demanding and are flying in an environment where there is more choice.”