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Emirates Retains Skytrax Award

Emirates Retains Skytrax Inflight Entertainment Award

Emirates has again received plaudits for its innovative inflight technology after scooping the much-coveted Skytrax 2008 Best Airline Inflight Entertainment Award for the fourth consecutive year.

The airline’s ice (information, communication and entertainment) and ice Digital Widescreen systems received top honours based on a passenger survey carried out by Skytrax. From August 2007 to June 2008, more than 15 million travellers of 93 nationalities took part in Skytrax’s World Airline Survey, which covered several areas of the airline industry.

The criteria for the award included the quality of inflight entertainment, best movie selection, TV and documentary programmes, and best audio choices. Quality of headsets and sound, audio programming, games selection and screen size were also considered.

All four daily Emirates services from New Zealand to Dubai and beyond via Australia offer the ice system.

Patrick Brannelly, Vice President Passenger Communications and Visual Services, said: “To win this award for the fourth consecutive year is a fantastic achievement, proving yet again that Emirates’ significant investment in the inflight entertainment product is appreciated by our customers. We also make significant investments in the latest technology to ensure our passengers enjoy not only the widest range of entertainment, but also the capacity to communicate with family and friends on the ground.

“Launching ice Digital Widescreen last year is another example of how Emirates continually enhances its inflight technology and product offering. The ongoing aim following this latest success is to keep improving the technology and content to provide passengers with the industry’s best inflight entertainment system.”

Emirates has invested huge sums to provide passengers the very best inflight entertainment since 1992, when it became the first airline in the world to offer personal TV screens in all classes on its entire fleet.

In 2003, Emirates launched ice and quickly developed it into the airline industry’s leading entertainment system. Passengers have hundreds of films, TV and audio options available at their fingertips, with more than 600 channels of entertainment on offer. The content available covers several languages, including English, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, Japanese.

The ice system, which was conceived in-house, has pushed the boundaries of traditional entertainment-only products by offering unique services. These include the pioneering inflight mobile phone technology offering – the first such service to be launched by any airline in the world. The mobile phone system allows passengers to communicate with people on the ground by making or receiving calls and sending or receiving text messages. Other inflight features that Emirates provides includes seatback SMS and email services, and live text news updates throughout the flight.

Reaffirming its position as an inflight technology pioneer, Emirates launched the new ice Digital Widescreen, which offers even more movies, TV and audio, as well as some 100 games. The airline is the first in the world to introduce closed captions on movies for passengers with hearing difficulties. New features include My USB, enabling passengers to view photos and pdf files, and My Playlist where travellers can create personal music compilations by choosing from nearly 10,000 tracks of available music.

ice Digital widescreen also offers the largest wide-screen televisions in the airline world. Each individual seat-back system is equipped with an advanced ice TV remote control; handset with a qwerty keyboard doubling up as a satellite telephone and games controller; laptop charging points and 3D animated Airshow. In premium classes, a unique wireless handset controller allows passengers to select entertainment, adjust seat positions and lighting, and choose massage functions.

More than 60% of Emirates’ fleet carry the ice or ice Digital Widescreen systems, both of which offer travellers significantly more inflight entertainment choice than any other airline.

“Four must be a lucky number for Emirates,” said Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted. “The standards of inflight entertainment have improved considerably across the airline industry in recent years, and passengers simply expect their chosen airline to provide AVOD programming, so product differentiation becomes more difficult to achieve for the world leaders in this section.”

The Skytrax Awards for Airline Excellence is among the most prominent recognitions of outstanding quality excellence for product and customer service delivery across the airline industry. These independent aviation awards recognise front-line service realities and are considered a fair measure of actual product and service being delivered.


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