Emirates Goes iPad HD Ready

Dubai’s national carrier launches new entertainment software across its Boeing 777 fleet of aircraft.

Emirates has launched its latest on-board entertainment system for all its future carriers, featuring bigger touch-controlled HD screens and iPad inspired devices.

The upgrade, being rolled out across all new Boeing 777s, sees wider personal TV screens with Economy now boasting the largest in-flight screens for its class in the world.

Emirates saw the arrival of three new Boeing 777 aircrafts this month, and expect the delivery of 15 more before the end of the year. First class now enjoys 27 inch screens, Business class 20 inch and Economy 12.1.

Speaking at the launch, Patrick Brannelly, vice-president of product, publishing, digital and events, said: “We feel it’s the best in the world, it’s as good as it can be. But we have so many more plans to make it even better going forward.

“Emirates’ economy class now has the largest screen in economy on any plane in the world and it will give an incredible viewing experience.”

The new screens feature high definition resolution and a new handset to control ICE, the operating system. “ICE aims to give our passengers an experience that they will not get on any other flights in the world,” said Brannelly. “An experience that frankly when they land at their destination, they wish the flight was longer. At Emirates we believe the flight is part of the entire travel experience.”

Business and First classes now also have iPad inspired tablet devices, that bear more than a striking resemblance to Apple’s hugely popular product, which can either control the viewing channel or act as a second screen.

“It’s a familiar touch screen, you will have witnessed this on many modern day electronics consumers are buying, things like iPads, and that’s very important,” explained Brannelly.

“It gives a much more natural user interface to our customers and makes it much easier for those customers that are using technology like this for the first time.”

Though an Emirates’ spokesperson declined to comment how much the upgrade has cost the airline, he did concede it was a ‘significant investment’ and the third most expensive cost after the plane’s shell and engines.

The Boeing fleet will all be mobile enabled allowing passengers to make calls and send messages from their phones while in the air. Though costs won’t be cheap, with charges priced at the service provider’s normal roaming charges rate.

No timeframe has been announced to enable internet access across the Boeing planes, though wireless service is already in use on the airline’s Airbus A380 fleet.