12th November 2007 – Close on the heels of placing the airline world’s largest-ever order – 93 firm and 50 optional aircraft at an investment of US$ 35 billion – Emirates Airline is investing another US$ 600-plus million in inflight products and services, reinforcing its dedication to providing ‘best in air’ travel experiences. On the second day of the Dubai Airshow 2007, Emirates entered into long-term agreements with B/E Aerospace, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, and JAMCO Corporation, in a move indicative of its commitment to continuous product enhancements through innovation and cutting-edge technologies.
The contracts for top-of-the-range, custom-built cabin interior products and next generation inflight entertainment and communication systems were signed by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, and are applicable to the airline’s new aircraft purchases as well as retrofits to its existing fleet.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “Yesterday we placed orders for the latest and most modern passenger jets and today we have signed three back-to-back onboard product agreements, clearly signalling our resolve to provide passengers with a world-class product. In the fiercely-contested premium air travel segment, seat comfort and inflight entertainment are the key differentiators, and we intend to stay ahead of the game with our ground-breaking entertainment system, ice, and the corporate jet quality of our premium classes.”
In a deal worth US$ 120 million, Emirates has selected B/E Aerospace, the world’s leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products to retrofit its existing B777-300ER and A340-500 fleet, and equip its new B777 aircraft with the airline’s signature First Class private suites and lie-flat Business Class seats. In addition, the contract includes First Class private suites installation for the airline’s new A380 aircraft purchases. It does not cover optional aircraft.
Emirates’ First Class private suites have set the benchmark for truly luxurious travel since they were first introduced by the airline in 2003. Amongst the suite’s key features are: a fully-flat bed with in-seat massage, dine-on-demand room service, in-suite personal mini bar, and sliding doors for the ultimate in privacy. The suites also offer extended floor space, stowage room for hand baggage and a personal wardrobe.
Emirates Business Class boasts multi-zone massage seats that recline to a 78” long lie-flat bed, providing ample room for taller passengers. The seats ensure maximum personal space with high privacy dividers.
Panasonic Avionics Corporation (PAC)
Emirates has also inked a massive US$ 500 million deal with PAC for the eX2 inflight digital entertainment system, which includes interactive audio, video, games, communication and connectivity support, for the airline’s existing fleet and new aircraft purchases.
Panasonic’s eX2 system powers Emirates’ signature ice (information, communication, entertainment) system which offers an unparalleled programming choice - over 600 channels of on-demand entertainment – together with seatback sms and email services, and live text news updates throughout the flight. Emirates ice has recently won many industry awards clearly positioning it as the leading inflight entertainment product in the world, with considerably more entertainment choice than any other carrier.
At present almost 60 percent of Emirates’ fleet is ice equipped, and by December 2008 the airline would have increased the system’s presence to cover about 70 percent of its fleet.
An enhanced version of ice, called the ice Digital Widescreen featuring the airline world’s largest wide-screen TVs measuring 23” in First Class, 17” in Business and 10.6” in Economy, even more programming choices, as well as innovative features such as My USB and My Playlist is already being introduced as part of a continual upgrade programme.
Emirates has been a leader of inflight entertainment since introducing the world’s first seat back screens in 1992.
Emirates has selected Jamco America, a subsidiary of JAMCO Corporation, the industry’s pre-eminent aircraft interior monument supplier and leader in lavatories and galleys throughout the world, to design and modify the cabin interiors of 33 of its B777-300ER and B777-200 aircraft.
The Jamco Group will manufacture structural components, electrical harnesses, closets, class dividers, and lavatory units for this extensive programme.
Engineering design is to start immediately with the first aircraft to be certified in September 2008.
Source: Emirates Airline
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