France’s Thales has won a multimillion-dollar contract for the provision of inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for Emirates airline’s Boeing -777x planes, which are due for delivery starting in 2020.

The contract covers the installation of Thales’ Avant system on 50 Boeing 777x planes.

Emirates has 35 B777-8 planes and 115 B777-9 planes on order.

Thales also said it plans to establish a custom innovation centre in the UAE in support of Emirates’ long-term expansion plans.

Managed by Thales, the centre will “enable Emirates teams to develop and shape their future passenger engagement initiatives and programmes in the air and on the ground”. Thales said it will also be setting up a repair center to provide operational support and services to Emirates.

Emirates has 246 in-service passenger and cargo fleet comprising Boeing and Airbus aircraft. It has 241 aircraft pending delivery worth an estimated $116bn.