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Emirates set to launch new US$ 8 million entertainment system

Travel News Asia 1 December 2003

Travellers on Emirates new Airbus A340-500 will be able to relax more in the future with more than 500 channels of inflight entertainment to choose from.

The airline's new $8 million ice (information, communication and entertainment) system available from next month will feature 100 movies and 50 on-demand TV channels, 350-plus audio channels and 40 in-flight games.

The award winning Dubai based carrier is launching one of the industrys most sophisticated on-demand video and audio systems, 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 $1 a time.

On non-stop trips to and from Australia, and next year North America, 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 kidscartoons.

The awesome audio choice includes UK No. 1 hits from every week since the Top 10 was first published, on 14th November 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 13 video channels dedicated to Arab customers feature movies, plays, fashion, music videos, comedy, children's shows and Hollywood hits subtitled in Arabic.

The Arabic audio selection includes readings from the Holy Qu'ran and 23 channels of Arabic Rai, Khaleeji, Classical and Arabic pop music, the widest choice on any airline, and CDs and "Best Of" channels from top Arabic recording artists.

The seatback screens provide updates on the progress of the flight, information on Emirates, Dubai and the Skywards loyalty programme and the latest BBC headlines, updated via a live link to BBC World. Emirates also 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 worlds most widely-used inflight telephony system.

Seatback screens will be bigger and clearer throughout. The 1-2-1 seating in the new First Class suites features 19-inch personal video screens. First Class customers will dine on demand, select favourite drinks for their in-suite mini-bar, and enjoy some of the finest cabin service available. Emirates is also pioneering Room Service, allowing them 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 comfy 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.

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