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$8 Million System Offers Wide Entertainment Choice

Emirates' New Us$8 Million System Offers Cutomersmers Widest Choice Of Entertainment In The Skies

New Zealand travellers on Emirates' new Airbus A340-500, the world's longest-range aircraft, will be able to relax on their flights with more than 500 channels of inflight entertainment, the widest choice in the skies.

The aircraft's customised new US$8 million ice (i nformation, communication and entertainment) system available from next month will feature 100 movies and 50 TV channels on demand, 350-plus audio channels and 40 in-flight games -- three times more than on any other airline.

Emirates will introduce the A340-500 on its daily Auckland-Sydney-Dubai service from December 3 (Boeing 777s will operate its daily Melbourne and Brisbane services).

The award-winning Dubai-based carrier is launching the industry's most sophisticated on-demand video and audio system, making it the first to show BBC World News updates in flight, and first to give travellers wanting to stay in touch with home or office a means to send and receive email and SMS from any seat, for just US$1 a time.

Travellers can test their knowledge in trivia tournaments, save the world from space invaders, sink a putt at mini-golf, challenge a colleague to a game of Hangman, or try their skill at 10-pin bowling.

Film buffs will find classics like Casablanca or 2001: A Space Odyssey, Hollywood blockbusters like Terminator 3 or Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney favourites like Snow White and Jungle Book, and a host of others from box-office hits to kids'cartoons.

The awesome audio choice includes UK No. 1 hits from every week since the Top 10 was first published, on November 14, 1952 (Here in My Heart, by Al Martino), 50-plus channels of Arabic, Japanese and World music, a giant selection of albums, 70 hours of classical concertos, operas and symphonies and 10 entire talking books. The sophisticated system allows users to start, stop and replay films or music at will.

The seatback screens provide updates on the progress of the flight - Emirates has upgraded its traditional Airshow moving map, and added a second channel.

Every passenger can also telephone anyone anywhere for US $5 a minute, using an individual handset to access the world's most widely-used inflight telephony system.

Seatback screens will be bigger and clearer throughout the aircraft. The 1-2-1 seating in the new First Class suites features 19-inch personal video screens, the largest on any airline. First Class customers will dine on demand, select favourite drinks for their in-suite mini-bar, and enjoy the finest cabin service on any world airline. Emirates is also pioneering Room Service in First Class, allowing passengers to phone over their requirements to the cabin crew at any time.

The airline, pioneer of personal Business Class video players on Airbus A330s from 1998, is trend-setting again with 15-inch screens in wider, more comfortable 2-2-2 Business Class seats putting everyone next to an aisle or window. Emirates' redesigned Economy offers wider 2-4-2 seats and nine-inch personal videos ? among the largest on any airline.

And just in case there are still empty moments to fill, the inflight quiz now runs to an amazing 1,500 questions ? samples : 'what was the first animal in space?' (A: Laika, a Russian dog) and 'who won the 1995 cricket World Cup?' (A: Sri Lanka).

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