Panasonic Avionics Corporation
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Panasonic Avionics Corporation (PAC) designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and installs customized in-flight entertainment and communications solutions to airlines worldwide. It is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. Panasonic Avionics Corporation was founded in 1979 as Matsushita Avionics Systems Corporation and changed its name in 2005. It is headquartered in Lake Forest, California and has major business functions in Bothell, WA.
PAC is a supplier of in-flight entertainment equipment, including music, video on demand (movies and television shows), in-flight shopping, phone service, email, video games, and GPS flight location display. PAC supplies equipment to Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier, Competitors in the IFE market include Thales Group, Rockwell Collins, Zodiac In-Flight Innovations and LiveTV.
In late 2009, Lufthansa announced that starting mid-2010 they will re-launch their 'FlyNet' service with Panasonic Avionics' satellite-based broadband technology offering passengers in-flight Internet and cellphone connections. Lufthansa will make use of their existing onboard hardware that had been installed in 2003 by Connexion by Boeing, the now defunct provider of the airline's previous onboard connectivity system.
The product engineering and development departments are located in Lake Forest, CA; program management, certification, system installation engineering and quality are located in Bothell, Washington, and manufacturing is performed in Osaka, Japan. Other offices and repair facilities are located worldwide, with major offices in Toulouse, Hamburg, London, Dallas, Dubai and Singapore.
In 2017, Panasonic Avionics decided to cancel planned investment in geostationary satellites, in the wake of development in low earth orbit satellite constellations . This decision could be due to potential future competition from the Starlink and OneWeb satellite constellations. One of the key technical differences is that low earth orbit satellites provide shorter latencies, because the signal doesn't have to travel 35,786 km (22,236 mi) back and forth to the geostationary orbit.
In March 2013, it was reported that American authorities were investigating the subsidiary for bribery. In February 2017, Panasonic said that PAC was being investigated by the DOJ and the SEC under the FCPA. In December of 2018, the former CEO and CFO of the company settled with the SEC and agreed to pay a total of $280 million to the Department of Justice and the SEC.
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