Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Etihad Airways have announced the installation of Boeing's Class 3 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) on five new 777-300ERs being delivered in the first half of 2006. In February, Etihad announced the introduction of a cutting-edge Boeing aircraft maintenance system, Airplane Health Management (AHM), to monitor the in-flight performance of the same airplanes. Together, EFB and AHM make Etihad one of the most technically advanced airlines in the world, employing multiple e-Enabled Boeing maintenance and performance solutions on a single fleet of airplanes. The EFBs will be installed on the 777s beginning in 2007.
"This EFB purchase represents a further commitment to giving our guests the most comfortable and efficient ride possible while at the same time improving the economic performance of our entire airline," said Robert Strodel, Etihad's chief executive officer. "We're pleased to be among our industry's leaders in embracing these e-Enabled products, which promise to improve our ability to deliver a world-class product."
Both EFB and AHM are core technologies in Boeing's vision of an e-Enabled air-transport system in which data, information and knowledge can be shared easily across an aviation enterprise.
Using software developed by Boeing and its Jeppesen subsidiary, and hardware from Astronautics Corp. of America (ACA), the Boeing EFB digitally delivers vital charts and manuals that pilots need to fly an airplane, giving them quick access to the information they need. One available option is an Onboard Performance Tool that gives pilots the ideal speeds and engine settings for an aircraft, in any weather, on any runway, with any payload, and can create vast gains in efficiency, range and payload.
"Etihad continues to pursue enhancements that will make its new 777-300ERs outstanding additions to its fleet," said Dan da Silva, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "The fact that a first-time 777 operator like Etihad is introducing multiple e-Enabled products validates our belief that these solutions afford significant operational benefits from the first day they enter into service."
Boeing's Class 3 EFB is installed into an airplane's avionics. It enhances the value of the airplanes on which it operates by delivering significant task efficiencies to flight crews and improved communications between an airplane cockpit crew and airline maintenance teams.
Installation of a multifunctional EFB is only part of what the Boeing team provides the airline. Jeppesen is focused on ensuring that any receiving enterprise has the infrastructure, training, systems and ability to develop additional content to take advantage of the EFB capabilities and reap the benefits of a paperless cockpit. These are among the items critical to a successful EFB implementation and together represent a major competitive advantage for Boeing in persuading customers to choose the Boeing team's Class 3 EFB.