Thales, a leader in in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems, announced that it has a new address at London Heathrow, closer to some of its high profile airline customers.

This state-of-the-art facility is a base for providing a wide range of comprehensive services such as turn-key maintenance, onboard services and repairs. It is also the home of the company’s local sales and marketing team who support the needs of both short and long-haul carriers in the surrounding area.

The catalyst for this new Thales facility is the strategic relationship Thales has with British Airways. In 2008, British Airways agreed on a multimillion-pound deal to purchase the Thales TopSeries IFEC system for its new delivery and next generation aircraft.

The system now flies every day on a growing number of British Airways aircraft, delivering passengers an exceptional onboard experience, which includes hundreds of movies and video programmes, a wide range of audio, interactive games and more.

In 2011, Thales and British Airways expanded their partnership by signing a component repair agreement, which allows the airline to do repairs on Thales equipment both for British Airways and other airlines. The result of this arrangement speeds up repair turnaround times and reduces repair costs. The facility is located in Llantrisant in Wales.

"This new facility in Heathrow is a testament to the commitment Thales and British Airways share. Thales equipment is now on nine BA aircraft operating around the world. This fleet will grow over the coming years and requires local support for maximum passenger satisfaction. Together our companies have proven that we can deliver an excellent service," said director of engineering at British Airways Garry Copeland.

Specific capabilities at this facility include EASA Part 145 maintenance capability, parts logistics management, spare provisioning, repair, media management and maintenance planning and scheduling.

"Our IFEC operations around the world are growing, with the UK as a main focus for Thales. This new facility reinforces the expanding relationship Thales has with British Airways," said head of Thales UK’s aerospace business Marion Broughton.

At the new facility, Thales will maintain demonstration systems for visitors to appreciate its latest technologies. On display for the grand opening is a triple economy seat with new award-winning in-seat screens and touch passenger media units. Plus, the recently announced wireless streaming media solution from Thales, known as TopSeries AVA.