Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways announced that all the FIFA 2014 World Cup football matches will be streamed live on the airline’s long haul aircraft during the month-long tournament.
All 64 games will be transmitted live by IMG Media using Etihad’s inflight entertainment system, E-box, a statement said. The E-box screens are installed in all the seats including in first, business and economy classes.
Peter Baumgartner, chief commercial officer, Etihad Airways said: “The FIFA World Cup is the biggest and most exciting sporting event in the world and I’m delighted that all of our guests will be able to watch every match while they fly with us on their long-haul business or holiday flights.”
The airline began non-stop daily flights from Abu Dhabi to World Cup host city Sao Paulo in June. The airline said the route has seen “great demand from British, Dutch and Belgian expatriates living in the UAE capital because their national teams play matches in the Brazilian city in the next two weeks.”
The airline operates an Airbus A340-500 ultra-long range aircraft on the route and offers 3,360 seats a week in a three-class configuration.
The FIFA World Cup, taking place in Brazil, kicks off on Thursday June 12, with the final match slotted for Sunday July 13. According to sports market intelligence firm Sportcal, up to 46 per cent of the world’s population will watch the event. The global television audience for the final match alone is estimated to reach over a billion.