Czech Airlines Technics (CSAT) has successfully completed a two-year cabin modification and Wi-Fi network installation project for Finnair’s Airbus narrow-body aircraft. Finnair is one of CSAT’s long-term Base Maintenance division clients. Throughout the course of the project, CSAT employees completed the cabin modification and connectivity installation on altogether 24 Finnair aircraft in Hangar F at Václav Havel Airport Prague. As a result, all aircraft have new cabin configurations and layout and Finnair customers can access internet and Finnair’s complimentary on board Nordic Sky Portal during the flight. This was the industry’s first connectivity retrofit with the aircraft manufacturer, Airbus.

During the work performed in Prague, the aircraft underwent a modification of the cabin, called ‘Spaceflex’, consisting of the cabin reconstruction, increasing the number of passenger seats, and replacements of the galleys and lavatories. At the same time, CSAT workers had to reinforce the fuselage to install the satellite antenna and its cover on top of the fuselage and distribute cables throughout the aircraft, including the cockpit and passenger cabin. Subsequently, a wireless internet connection was launched and tested on board the aircraft. During the flight, the antenna on the fuselage receives a signal from the satellite, which is distributed to passengers’ electronic devices via Wi-Fi Access Points located in several places around the cabin.

“Since it was a prototype installation and modification, we worked very closely with Airbus and Finnair for several months before starting the job, and the support and collaboration by the Finnair project team was invaluable. As with any large projects, everything from planning and logistics to implementation needed sorting. Alongside the favourable revision turnaround time, location and experience of our employees, bespoke solutions are among the competitive advantages of Czech Airlines Technics in the aircraft maintenance market segment, greatly appreciated by our customers. We would like to thank all our employees who participated in this demanding project,” Pavel Hales, Chairman of the Czech Airlines Technics Board of Directors, said, adding: "I am pleased that we can present the completion of this long-term significant project together during the largest aircraft maintenance fair, the MRO Europe, organised this year in London."

”The project increased the seating capacity of our Airbus narrow-body aircraft, and brought best-in-market internet connectivity to our customers, thus supporting both our growth and customer experience targets”, says Juha Ojala, VP Technical Services, Finnair.  “A tight collaboration between the CSAT, Airbus and Finnair teams was crucial for the project’s success.”

A special video was created during the modification, which will be shown at the CSAT booth (#1350) at MRO Europe in London for the first time is also available on YouTube.