• Emirates to reduce its A380 orderbook by 39 aircraft
  • Orders 40 A330neo and 30 A350s
  • Last delivery of A380 scheduled for 2021

Toulouse, France | February 14, 2019– Following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies, Emirates is reducing its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft. Emirates will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years. As a consequence and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380  in 2021.

Emirates has also decided to continue growing with Airbus’ newest generation, flexible widebody aircraft, ordering 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

“As a result of this decision we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. “The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full year results”.

“The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide. But, keep in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators,” Tom Enders added.

“The A380 is Emirates’ flagship and has contributed to the airline’s success for more than ten years. As much as we regret the airline’s position, selecting the A330neo and A350 for its future growth is a great endorsement of our very competitive widebody aircraft family,” said Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO. “Going forward, we are fully committed to deliver on the longstanding confidence Emirates is placing in Airbus.”

Airbus will start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years. However, the ongoing A320 ramp-up and the new widebody order from Emirates Airline will offer a significant number of internal mobility opportunities.

Aircraft Interiors EXPO Hamburg, Germany | April 11, 2018– The world’s largest international carrier, Emirates, has surpassed a staggering one million Wi-Fi sessions in March, powered by SITAONAIR’s connected aircraft expertize. It represents a major moment for inflight connectivity (IFC), highlighting passengers’ demand for services that enable them to seamlessly maintain their digital lives, by streaming, chatting, enjoying social media, shopping and surfing, as they fly.

Passengers travelling with Emirates consumed 1,037,016 SITAONAIR Internet ONAIR sessions between 1 and 31 March 2018, across its B777-300ER and A380 aircraft fleet.

In partnership with SITAONAIR, Emirates offers onboard Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity to passengers across its six-continent network and on 98% of its fleet.

This is testament to inflight connectivity’s increasingly integral role in the modern passenger experience, meeting customers’ digital desires for seamless inflight connectivity, comparable with the at-home experience.

The reaching of this milestone follows last year’s extension of the SITAONAIR-Emirates partnership, and the rollout of personalized inflight connectivity for members of the airline’s award-winning loyalty program, Emirates Skywards, through SITAONAIR’s onboard Wi-Fi portal, Internet ONAIR.

A major contributor to the achievement has beenSITAONAIR’s open cabin approach, which has enabled Emirates to roll out seamless Wi-Fi globally.

The airline’s passengers enjoy a consistent IFC user experience, regardless of the various satellite connections or pre-existing onboard technologies, and unconstrained by hardware suppliers’ refresh cycles.

David Lavorel, CEO, SITAONAIR, said: “We are delighted to share this major inflight connectivity milestone with Emirates. With 43% of global airlines perceiving an enhanced passenger experience as by far the connected aircraft’s biggest benefit, SITAONAIR and our long-standing customer is rising to the challenge of meeting passengers’ desire to stay connected.

“As the industry champions of an ‘open platforms’ approach, we believe all airlines can be empowered to achieve their inflight connectivity ambitions, whatever their fleet or pre-existing avionics. This moment illustrates the success of this strategy, and SITAONAIR’s ability to support airlines of all sizes to achieve integrated nose-to-tail connectivity, no matter their technological starting point. This milestone, achieved across the diverse Emirates fleet, validates our approach.”

United Arab Emirates | November 14, 2017–

SITAONAIR and Emirates have extended their partnership to deliver passenger connectivity solutions across its fleet of A380 and B777 aircraft for a further four years.

The news follows the recent rollout of personalized inflight connectivity for members of the airline’s loyalty program, Emirates Skywards, through SITAONAIR’s onboard Wi-Fi hub, Internet ONAIR. The project was recently awarded the Best Personalization Innovation award at the 2017 APEX EXPO in September.

The extended deal, covering 279 aircraft, underlines Emirates’ continued focus on passenger connectivity excellence by providing harmonized and seamless inflight Internet access to passengers around the globe. The new contract covers Mobile ONAIR and Internet ONAIR on all A380 aircraft, and Internet ONAIR on the B777 fleet.

SITAONAIR’s open platforms approach – launched through its hot topic white paper at last year’s APEX EXPO – delivers a consistent user experience across the various satellite connections and pre-existing onboard technologies present across the Emirates fleet, unconstrained by hardware suppliers’ refresh cycles.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR, said: “We are extremely proud to expand the relationship with our long-standing airline customer, Emirates. We have worked closely with Emirates over the years to achieve their connected aircraft vision, and look forward to continually driving cabin connectivity innovation for the benefit of Emirates passengers.”

Emirates is the world’s largest A380 operator, with 100 A380 aircraft in its fleet all equipped with SITAONAIR cabin connectivity.

To find out more about SITAONAIR’s full inflight connectivity portfolio and open platforms vision, visit www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form.

  • Thales and Emirates Aviation University sign a Memorandum of Understanding initiating a new partnership to explore areas of cooperation in the aviation field.
  • This agreement strengthens the Thales presence within the UAE and will bring cutting-edge expertise to Emirates Aviation University students.

UAE and France | November 13, 2017–Thales and Emirates Aviation University, the education arm of the Emirates Group sign a Memorandum of Understanding which will initiate a new partnership to explore areas of cooperation in the aviation field.

Thales is one of world’s leading solutions providers in the aerospace industry, with a proven track record in operational training to customers worldwide. Emirates Aviation University is the ideal launch-pad for careers in management and the technical spheres of aviation. Together, Thales and Emirates Aviation University make the ideal partners in this venture.

This new collaboration between Thales and Emirates Aviation University will start with joint educational programmes, research and development activities and graduate internships.

This initiative is linked with Thales’s commitment to share knowledge, strengthen its presence in the UAE and aims to bring cutting-edge expertise to Emirates Aviation University students in the continuously growing field of aviation and transportation.

This agreement underpins the strengthening of the partnership between Thales and Emirates group, began last year when Emirates Airlines and Thales InFlyt Experience joined forces to create the future of in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

“We are pleased to start our collaboration between Emirates Aviation University and Thales to develop world-class educational and development programmes for our students. We are committed to providing our students with the latest developments in the ever-changing aviation industry and we look forward to benefitting from all technologies that Thales has to offer”

Dr. Ahmad Al Ali, Vice Chancellor of Emirates Aviation University

  • Ethiopian Airlines, Koreans Airlines, Norwegian and Virgin America Also Honored at Airline Industry’s Most Prestigious Award Ceremony

APEX EXPO, Portland, Oregon | September 28, 2015– Members of the Airline Passenger Experience
Association (APEX) gathered tonight in Portland, Ore., as part of APEX EXPO to honor the winners of the 2015 Passenger Choice and APEX Awards. The Awards recognize excellence in ground experience, cabin comfort, entertainment options, connectivity, overall experience and more. Considered the airline industry’s most prestigious honors, the awards are based on one of the most impressive and comprehensive passenger surveys of their kind, with feedback from travelers from more than 200 countries.

The APEX Awards Ceremony – hosted by Rajan Datar of BBC World News – kicked off the annual APEX EXPO, attended by nearly 3,000 industry professionals representing all major airlines and the companies they partner with to drive continuous improvement in the passenger experience, including advances in entertainment and connectivity, comfort and ambiance, catering and other services.

Emirates, which has a fleet of more than 230 aircraft and flies to over 140 destinations in more than 80 countries around the world, was the big winner of the evening, taking home seven awards. Awards included Best in Region: Middle East, Best IFE & User Interface; Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications; Best Cabin Ambiance; Best Food & Beverage (in conjunction with International Flight Services Association); Best Ground Experience, and Best Overall Passenger Experience, presented by APEX CEO Joe Leader.

Norwegian and Virgin America were also winners of multiple awards. Norwegian won Best in Region: Europe and the John White Publication Award. Virgin America won Best in Region: Americas and Best Inflight Video. Other airlines that took home awards included Ethiopian Airlines, which won Best in Region: Africa and Korean Air, which won Best in Region: Asia and Australasia.

“Each year APEX provides passengers from around the world the opportunity to rate every aspect of their passenger experience,” said Dominic Green, APEX Events & EXPO chair. “Nothing is more important or impactful than direct customer feedback, which is why airlines see the awards as a valuable tool to improve the experience they offer passengers.”

Airline passengers rated their travel experience through an online survey at www.passengerchoiceawards.com. The Nielsen Company, a globally recognized consumer measurement and information leader, tabulates the results. In its sixth year, the Passenger Choice Awards are recognized as a leading way to recognize industry excellence and to garner independently curated, direct passenger feedback. The Passenger Choice Awards program does not accept advertising dollars, and is executed at no cost to airlines.

During the ceremony APEX CEO Joe Leader also presented the CEO of SriLankan Airlines, Rakhita Jayawardena, with an award for the airline’s commitment to, and superior achievement in, the passenger experience in their region. A previous recipient of the Passenger Choice Awards, SriLankan Airlines was a finalist this year in four different awards categories.

APEX also honored Rick Warren, founder of Post Modern Group, LLC, who received the APEX 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mary Kirby, Runway Girl Network, and Steve Harvey, Global Eagle Entertainment, also were honored with APEX’s Outstanding Contribution Awards.

Two APEX member companies were recognized for innovation and contribution to the industry with the annual APEX Awards, formerly known as the Avion Awards. These awards were judged by industry peers and members of the media. El Al was awarded the APEX Award for Best Achievement in Passenger Experience for their “Cockpit” High-Tech Innovation Hub. Gogo was given the APEX Award for Best Achievement in Technology for 2KU Technology voted on by attendees at the APEX EXPO and recognizing outstanding on display on the APEX exhibition.

  • Boeing’s Global Corporate Citizenship organized 10 relief flights in 2014

Seattle, WA | December 22, 2014– Boeing (NYSE: BA) partnered with Emirates Airline and U.S.-based non-profit organization Another Joy Foundation to transport a consignment of critically-needed blankets and sleeping bags on board the airline’s newly delivered Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range).

This is the sixth time since 2009 that Boeing and Emirates have collaborated to transport humanitarian aid to countries to the underprivileged in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia.

The shipment was picked up in Dubai by Iraqi Airways in coordination with the Iraqi Ministry of Transportation. The goods will then be distributed to underprivileged people in Iraq who are not equipped to face the bitterly cold weather conditions.

“There is a dire need for winter gear such as blankets and sleeping bags in Iraq especially for the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced this year in the country,” said Elizabeth Warman, director of Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship for the Northwest region. “Through these collaborative efforts with our customers and non-governmental agencies such as Another Joy Foundation, we hope to bring some measure of relief and hope to people in need around the world.”

This is the third time this year that Boeing and Another Joy Foundation have carried supplies to Iraq. In March, a consignment comprising of boxes of toys were distributed to underprivileged children in Iraqi orphanages while quilts for the displaced were shipped in November.

“Our long standing relationship with Boeing has been further cemented by this wonderful initiative that helps enhance the lives of the less fortunate around the world,” said Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates. “We are glad to work with Boeing’s Humanitarian Delivery Flight program and Another Joy Foundation, to utilize the maiden flight of one of our new Boeing 777-300ERs in bringing critical humanitarian cargo to aid those in need.”

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Another Joy Foundation’s mission is to deliver joy and hope to less fortunate children around the world through donations of new and used toys, clothes, shoes and new school supplies.

Since Boeing’s Humanitarian Delivery Flight program began in 1992, the company has facilitated more than 163 humanitarian delivery flights, working in partnership with over 50 different airlines worldwide.

Mobile data and text messaging at 30,000ft prove a hit with Brits
Hamburg, Germany | April 9, 2014– British travellers are more likely to pick up their mobile phones inflight to send an email or browse the web than to make a call from the aircraft cabin.

More than three quarters of travellers surveyed by AeroMobile, a leading mobile phone operator for the aviation industry, said they would use mobile-enabled internet access to check emails, browse the internet or update their Facebook or Twitter status at 30,000ft.

More than half (55 per cent) would opt to send a text message and a quarter would use an instant messaging service, but fewer than a third (17 per cent) would make a call inflight.

Almost half of respondents said that inflight mobile services would help them alleviate the boredom of long hours spent in an aircraft cabin and over a third are looking to their own mobile devices to keep them entertained.

Almost half of people questioned said they expect inflight mobile connectivity to become standard in the next few years and over a third believe an airline with an inflight mobile service is cutting edge.

“The results of this survey certainly reflect our experience at AeroMobile,” said Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.

“In 2013 we saw close to an 80 per cent increase in the number of travellers using their mobile phones in the aircraft cabin and data usage on our network went up ten-fold. We also saw a 50 per cent increase in SMS traffic.”

The AeroMobile network allows passengers to roam just as they would abroad. The company has live roaming agreements with over 250 mobile phone operators worldwide, including EE, O2, Vodafone and Three in the UK.

The service is available across eleven airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Etihad, Emirates and Lufthansa.

  • First twin-aisle launch in history to achieve 259 orders and commitments
  • 777X will be the largest, most-efficient twin-engine jet in the world
  • Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways commit to 777X
  • The 777X advances the world’s most efficient, flexible twin-aisle family

Dubai, UAE | November 17, 2013/PRNewswire/–Boeing [NYSE:BA] today launched the 777X program at the 2013 Dubai Airshow with a record-breaking number of customer orders and commitments for the newest member of its twin-aisle product family. Agreements for 259 airplanes from four customers across Europe and the Middle East provide a strong foundation to support development and production of the airplane.

Representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value, 777X orders and commitments include Lufthansa with 34 airplanes; Etihad Airways with 25; Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with 150 airplanes. The combined value of the agreements is more than $95 billion at list prices.

“We are proud to partner with each of these esteemed airlines to launch the 777X – the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jetliner in the world,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Its ground-breaking engine technologies and all-new composite wing will deliver unsurpassed value and growth potential to our customers.”

The 777X builds on the passenger-preferred and market-leading 777, which today commands 55 percent of market share in its category in terms of backlog, and 71 percent of the in-service fleet worldwide. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.

The 777X builds on the best-in-class dispatch reliability from today’s 777, as well as offering more market coverage and revenue capability that surpasses the competition. The 777-8X competes directly with the A350-1000, while the 777-9X is in a class by itself.

Opening new growth opportunities for airlines, the 777-9X offers seating for more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices. With a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the airplane will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane.
The second member of the family, the 777-8X, will be the most flexible jet in the world. The airplane will seat 350 passengers and offer an incredible range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km). In addition, the airplane will have unmatched takeoff and payload capability compared to the competition.

“The airplane will build on the market-leading 777 and will provide superior operating economics,” said Conner. “The airplane will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than any competing airplane, necessary in today’s competitive environment.”

The 777X introduces the latest technologies in multiple places, including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high-efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The airplane’s folding, raked wingtip and optimized span deliver greater efficiency, significant fuel savings and complete airport gate compatibility.

Like the 787 Dreamliner which was launched as the 7E7, the 777X will be formally named at a later date. Design of the 777X is underway and suppliers will be named in the coming months. Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.

Airlines flying in and out of the United States may be required to close-caption all video content for the hard of hearing under rules that might be released by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as early as February of next year.

This will be the subject of an industry panel to be held during the APEX Technology Committee Meeting on November 19-20 at the Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach, California. The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) has established a working group chaired by Jonathan Norris of Lumexis to review existing closed-caption standards (see APEX 0403) and to determine if these standards should be updated or expanded.

In September, APEX board member and chair of the Technology Committee Michael Childers met with government officials and identified representatives of the DOT, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (“Access Board”), and technology advisers to the DOT with whom APEX may work to establish closed-caption technology standards that would be acceptable to both the DOT and airline community.

A conference call was held at the end of September in which these officials and APEX representatives established the ground work for collaboration. While these efforts are temporarily interrupted by the government shutdown, APEX’s Closed Caption Working Group (CCWG) is building membership and identifying the issues for review.

A conference call between these representative of the DOT, Access Board, and technical advisers, and attendees of the APEX TC is planned, according to Childers. The CCWG will also report on its work during the TC. CCWG consists of representatives of airlines, Hollywood studios, post-production facilities, and IFE systems providers.

The subject of closed captions in IFE is not new. In 2006 the DOT issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would have required closed-captions on all video content on aircraft flying in and out of the U.S. APEX—then WAEA—responded to the NPRM drafted by Pierre Schuberth, currently with Thales, and Childers. This response explained that IFE systems are proprietary closed systems whose monitors are not equipped with Line-21 captions like terrestrial televisions, and that implementing closed captions in 2006 meant loading two versions of every movie and TV show onboard—one with captions and one without.

The response advised that the IFE industry was beginning migration from MPEG-1/2 systems into MPEG-4 systems which more easily accommodated closed captions and suggested a timeline for that migration. The DOT and the APEX TC worked closely in this review and in 2008 the DOT announced that it was reluctantly tabling the closed-caption requirement due to the state of IFE technology and that it would continue to monitor the industry’s migration.

In 2007, APEX adopted a closed-caption standard based on bitmap—a “rendered image” solution that enabled captions to be provided without boarding two complete versions of every movie—one with and one without captions—but short of the simplicity of Timed Text (in 2006 still referred to as “DFXP”). Emirates was the first airline to offer this kind of closed captions, provided by Panasonic, but few other airlines have adopted closed captions. Panasonic, Thales and Lumexis all offer closed captions in accordance with the 0403 bitmap standard.

While the IFE industry has migrated into MPEG-4, the timeline envisioned by APEX in 2006 has moved more slowly due to the recession at the end of the decade. While systems delivered to aircraft today are MPEG-4, content deliveries to existing systems are still nearer to 60 percent MPEG-1/2 and 40 percent MPEG-4.

This raises the question of whether a single closed-caption standard is practical in an industry where the lifecycle of an IFE system might be 15 years, or whether a dual standard involving both bitmap and timed text solutions might be codified.

Editors Note: To the best of our knowledge, Emirates is the only airline to offer closed captioning. If you are interested in closed captioning, we suggest you contact the industry expert, Michael Childers lightstream@aol.com

At APEX last, we ran into Bryan Rusenko who told IFExpress that he is going out on his own and if you seek digital workflow business development, he is your person – mediapro@dslextreme.com.

No doubt you have seen the Airbus Long Haul Standard Seat Size news release, aside from the issues the competition might have with it, we agree based on increased age, increased girth, and increased need for space…we like it! And, we like the info graphics as well! Infographic #1 Infographic #2

Knutsford, Cheshire, UK | September 24, 2013– Leading passenger entertainment experts, IFE Services, announced today that it is supplying Emirates with Latin American movies.

These high-quality movies are carefully selected from studios across the region, including the developing film industries of Uruguay and Columbia as well as those from the more established Mexican and Brazilian studios. Passengers will have a choice of six titles onboard that will be refreshed regularly. The first cycle of titles will include those shown at International Film Festivals such as ‘El Verano De Los Peces Voladores’ (The Summer Of Flying Fish)’ and ‘ROA’, as well as other critically acclaimed box office successes.

The Latin American film industry is currently enjoying a renaissance with a growing number of local, highly talented filmmakers producing movies for the region’s 600 million filmgoers. The movie production industry continues to thrive in the larger traditional markets of Brazil and Argentina alongside unprecedented growth in emerging markets such as Chile and Venezuela.

Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, is a leader in innovation, working closely with manufacturers and suppliers to ensure its customer experience is second-to-none. It is because of this commitment that SkyTrax has recognised Emirates’ ice (information, communication and entertainment) system for nine consecutive years as the World’s Best Airline Inflight Entertainment. IFE Services will manage the digital encoding of the movies for onboard delivery across Emirates’ audio visual on-demand (AVOD) systems.

In March this year, IFE Services announced that it was supplying African movies to Emirates in languages including Afrikaans, Arabic, English, French, Kikuyu, Swahili and Zulu.

– Leading content service provider will supply Emirates with a broad selection of African movies for inclusion in their award-winning ice in-flight entertainment system.

Knutsford, Cheshire, UK | March 19, 2013– Leading in-flight entertainment provider, IFE Services, announced today that it is supplying Emirates with a broad selection of African movies.

The movies, which include titles from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and other regions of Africa, will play on Emirates’ multi award-winning in-flight entertainment system, ice (information, communications and entertainment). IFE Services will manage all digital encoding requirements for the onboard delivery of the movies. The African movie industry is thriving currently with Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, now the second largest producer of films in the world in terms of the number made. The movie sectors of many other African countries are also in excellent health with an increasing number of high quality productions being made year on year.

IFE Services currently meets the entertainment requirements of over 50 airlines and cruise lines globally with a variety of embedded, portable and wireless systems. The company supplies everything from movies, TV shows, audio and games to apps, safety films, entertainment guides and pre-recorded announcements. The company is the leading IFE content service provider in emerging markets enjoying significant growth in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia over the past 12 months.

“It’s a great privilege to be supplying Emirates with content for their excellent ice system,” said Andy McEwan, CEO of IFE Services. “We look forward to working closely with their team on this and future projects.”

For more information about Emirates visit: www.emirates.com

For more information about IFE Services visit: www.ifeservices.com

Cedar Rapids, Iowa | January 30, 2013– Rockwell Collins has signed a service agreement with Dubai-based Emirates Airline for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of Rockwell Collins avionics on Emirates’ fleet.

The five-year agreement provides fixed repair costs and guaranteed turnaround times. Rockwell Collins’ extensive global spare pool enables Emirates to optimize its material holdings while minimizing aircraft downtime.

“We are very pleased to be able to continue to provide OEM-quality MRO services to Emirates under a long-term agreement that supports their continued fleet expansion,” Scott Gunnufson, vice president and general manager, Service Solutions for Rockwell Collins.

Rockwell Collins’ global network of more than 80 locations provides repair and overhaul of avionics equipment for more than 6,000 commercial, business, corporate and military operations. Additional logistics capabilities include on-board services, service parts, training and simulator systems and services, technical information services and technical services.

19th May, 2010 – Emirates’ A380 superjumbo will make a much-anticipated return to New York on 31st October, the airline has announced. The aircraft’s reinstatement on one of Emirates’ double daily Dubai – JFK routes comes as the carrier reported a significant increase in revenue for the Americas in 2009-10, representing a year-on-year rise of 8.1 percent.

Growth in the Americas helped steer the airline to a net profit of AED 3.5 billion (US$ 964 million), while 27.5 million passengers flew with Emirates over the last financial year, over 20 percent more than in 2008- 09.

Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said: “We promised to return the A380 to New York as soon as demand recovered and we have been true to our word.”

He continued: “Against some of the toughest operating conditions ever faced, the results for the Americas have been hugely encouraging. This achievement reflects our success in maintaining our business as usual approach and remaining faithful to our strategy of product and service excellence.”

“As we look to 2010-11 and beyond, Emirates will continue to invest in its products and services to build on the resurgent demand for air travel within the Americas. Our plans for the future also include
adding new US cities to our four existing gateways: New York, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

Emirates’ expansion plans for the region will be boosted by a significant increase in capacity. The airline is scheduled to receive 11 new wide-body aircraft in 2010, including Airbus A380s and Boeing

Emirates currently operates eight A380 aircraft, serving London Heathrow, Toronto, Paris, Jeddah, Bangkok, Seoul, Sydney and Auckland. In March 2010, the airline also announced the start of A380 services to Beijing from 1st August and Manchester from 1st September.

The superjumbos offer an Onboard Lounge for First Class and Business Class passengers, with a wide range of drinks and canapés, as well as the space to socialise or simply relax.

Passengers in all classes can lose themselves in the quietness of the aircraft and the much-enjoyed ice entertainment system. There are more than 1,000 channels of on-demand entertainment including 200 movies from around the world, 100 TV channels, more than 500 audio channels, 100 video games and news, sports and business headlines.

From 31st October, Flight EK201 will be operated by an A380 aircraft departing Dubai (DXB) at 08:30, arriving New York (JFK) at 14:15 the same day. EK202 departs JFK at 23:00, arriving Dubai at 19:45 the
following day. The daily A380 service will complement Emirates second daily flight aboard the Boeing 777-300ER.

Readers of In-Flight Entertainment are probably tired of hearing what we have to say about the industry so we decided to turn the tables on you and asked what you thought about the latest WAEA TC Meeting in California last week and here is what you said (names withheld to protect the innocent).

Responder One: “The WAEA SFW on Connectivity was well attended, although there seemed to be fewer airlines attending than for the first SFW in Everett, WA in June 2009. Airlines are clearly embracing airborne connectivity for passengers and airplanes. IFE & C suppliers are mapping a future enabling those of us with mobile devices to stay connected in the air as we are on the ground. Without a doubt, most passengers under thirty years old have grown up with computers and cell phones, and have come to expect to be socially connected through texting, Facebook and Twitter. These are the business and leisure passengers of today and tomorrow; these passengers expect to be connected 24/7. Soon connected teenagers will be paying passengers and working adults. The WAEA SFW on Connectivity did an excellent job of highlighting this trend, this opportunity, this inevitable future.

Next, our second responder told us: “At the TC there was consensus for moving forward with a list of additions to the MPEG-4 Settings that include: a) Specifying Progressive video input as a Best Practice, b) Designating MPEG-4 Part 10 Main Profile, Level 3.1 as a Best Practices default, c) Limiting the number of reference frames to 2. We were not able to reach consensus on data rate however. There were expressions of preference for codifying either 1.5Mbps or 2.0 Mbps, and some favored a range between the two. But in the absence of consensus we will deliberate in committee in an effort to reconcile. We will continue investigating an HD and 3D spec.”

Thirdly, our next responder (Three) told us, and we quote; “Some presentations in the workshop were informative; others had way too many details about antenna and frequency allocation technology. Airline attendance was low even though most of the presentations were targeted towards airlines. No question connectivity is a hot topic and everyone is on board from airlines to vendors to OEM’s. Reminds me a lot of the air-to-ground telephony industry back in the 90’s where it was deemed as a must have on every seat on every flight. None of those companies are in business today and the usage was far less than advertised. While I agree that future generations expect to be connected 24/7, I question the ultimate success of any company selling any product in flight that requires a passenger to pull out their wallet. If the service becomes free as it is in many airports and lounges today, that is an entirely different story.”

Our fourth responder asks the rhetorical question: “Is there an HD standard in IFE’s future? The WAEA’s Technology Committee meeting in Los Angeles last week was very well attended, with over 150 IFE professionals sharing their opinions on MPEG4, High Definition video content, and the future of 3-D video in IFE. While the discussion about standardizing MPEG4 settings and the future formats of 3-D video displays were “interesting,” the discussion about HD video for IFE was downright scintillating, with diverse opinions from all segments of the IFE business. Here’s just a sampling of comments, opinions, and factoids heard at the meeting:

Hardware provider: 720p makes most sense for HD IFE – 1080p does not make sense, since it means having to store more data that does not noticeably improve picture quality on mostly small screens. 32” displays are the threshold for perceiving increased quality offered by 1080p.

Hardware provider: Resolutions of 1280 x 720 and 1920 x 1080 are used by US broadcasters, while 1920 x1080 is that of BluRay. Further, BluRay uses variable bit rates of 25-30 Mbps. If we continue to use constant bit rate (CBR) for IFE encodes, we will have to encode everything at the highest bit rate or lose quality on the fast changing scenes.

A hardware provider’s point: 1080p will be the resolution of choice for display systems in the next 5 years.

A content provider’s counter-point: 720p is the standard for the content already – broadcasters may transmit it in 1080p but the content is 720p.
Another content provider’s counter-point: Resolution is not going to stop at 1080 lines – we are already seeing 2000 and 4000 lines, and 8000 lines has been demonstrated in Japan.

As you can see from all these divergent viewpoints, we are a ways away from agreement on what the standard HD content format should be for IFE – or even if there should be a standard at all (a view espoused privately by a few attendees). What do you think: should the TC have its working group spend the time over the next few months to hammer out a standard for some aspects of HD video for IFE (could save airlines on costs for content?), or should they let the marketplace duke it out for a while and see what settles out?”

And lastly, responder five told us: “The WAEA TC Single Focus Workshop had its usual sales pitches given under the guise of imparting technical information and approaches. However, two presentations in particular stood out for their clarity and the amount of usable information presented. OnAir’s Henri Broussalian made a very good case for mobile voice onboard aircraft based on experience on over 100,000 commercial flights. Broussalian cited that there have been “zero” complaints about passenger cell phone use and that the U.S. restriction called the “Hang Up Bill” is ill-advised based on this experience. He indicated that the U.S. should immediately reconsider this policy of denying passengers this kind of connectivity. Despite raising the bar on the number of acronyms used, DDEi’s Peter Lemme gave an excellent overview of the structure of current aircraft “operational” communications environment and a cogent approach to deploying these applications over the newer broadband solutions being installed. Mr. Lemme noted there are certain regulatory issues to be resolved both not only in the aeronautical industry but also in the world telecommunications arena so the progress will be slow but steadily moving to broadband. This author’s view, based on my work with operational communications, is that airlines will cautiously use the broadband pipe that is becoming available for passengers through the deployment of category 2 and 3 EFBs to support operational efficiencies. The growth in the use of broadband for operational communications will lag slightly, by 6-12 months, the deployment of the broadband systems on a fleet-by-fleet basis. As operational experience with broadband grows, the airline industry will naturally seek to fill this much larger “pipe” with more aircraft management applications in an effort to reduce costs and operate more effectively.”
That’s All Folks!

Editor’s Note: Breaking news has Emirates and Ryanair dropping OnAir service. It looks like one of our responders was pretty much on the money!

Dubai, UAE, 30th July 2009 – Emirates has become the world’s largest airline operator of Boeing 777 aircraft with the arrival of its 78th Boeing 777 today.

Emirates has another 28 Boeing 777s pending delivery, worth over US$ 7 billion at list prices, and it is also the only airline to operate every model in the Boeing 777 family: -200s, -200ERs, -200LRs, -300s, -300ERs and freighters. The newest addition to the Emirates fleet is a Boeing 777-300ER configured for long distance journeys.

Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The 777s form the backbone of our fleet, and we have configured these aircraft to give us maximum flexibility in terms of route deployment. Emirates’ 777s today fly to six continents from our Dubai hub, operating routes within a two-hour distance to long-range journeys of 16 hours non-stop.

“The 777 is an excellent aircraft in terms of operating economics, and importantly, the new technologies incorporated within enable us to fit it out with the latest onboard systems and passenger amenities. Emirates is committed to maintaining a young and modern fleet, which enhances our passengers’ comfort and safety and also makes our aircraft some of the most environmentally-friendly in the skies.”

“The 777 is the world’s most successful twin-engine, long-haul airplane and Emirates has contributed significantly to the programme’s success, both in becoming the now largest 777 airline customer and through its continued feedback on quality step improvements we’ve made to the airplane,” said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ Vice President of Sales for the Middle East, Central and South Asia. “With suppliers around the world contributing to and benefitting from 777 production, Emirates’ investment toward building the world’s largest Boeing 777 fleet has played a role in maintaining and strengthening the global aviation manufacturing industry.”

Emirates recently completed an upgrading programme for its existing 777 fleet, and now all of its 777 aircraft boast its award-winning ice (information, communication, entertainment) system, which offers passengers in all cabin classes an unrivalled choice of up to 1,200 channels of the latest movies, TV programming, music and games on demand.

The airline’s long-range 777s have also been equipped with its very latest onboard products including private suites in First Class, lie-flat massage seats in Business Class, and ergonomically designed seats in Economy Class.

Emirates received its first 777, a Boeing 777-200, in 1996. Its current 777 fleet comprises: three -200s, six -200ERs, 10 -200LRs, 12 -300s, 45 -300ERs, and two 777 freighters. In total, Emirates operates an all-wide body fleet of 137 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to 99 cities in 60 countries on six continents. -ends

About Emirates
With a fleet of 134 aircraft, including five A380 superjumbos, Emirates flies non-stop to six continents from its international hub in Dubai.

1st June, 2009 – Emirates scored a double whammy today as two of its A380 super jumbos jetted off from Dubai to the opposite ends of the globe, marking the aviation world’s first A380 commercial services to Bangkok and Toronto.

The launch of Emirates’ A380 operations – daily from Dubai to Bangkok, and thrice weekly from Dubai to Toronto – signals a new era of luxury air travel to Thailand and Canada, and represents yet another milestone in the airline’s A380 programme.

Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said: “Emirates is delighted to celebrate its inaugural A380 services to Thailand and Canada today. The aircraft with its large capacity and excellent operating economies is a pillar of growth, both for the airline and the destination. In Thailand, the introduction of the super jumbo will support the local government’s multi-million dollar promotional drive to boost tourism arrivals from the high-yield Middle East region. At the same time the higher-capacity A380 will help address the strong demand for passenger and cargo services on the Dubai-Toronto route which is currently restricted by the bi-lateral agreement to three flights per week.”

Mr. Clark added: “With air travel due to triple in the next 18 years and constraints on traffic rights and airport slots to continue, larger capacity aircraft such as the A380 are key to Emirates’ plans to meet increasing passenger demand. We have ordered 58 A380s and each one of these has been carefully planned for our present and future requirements. Our next A380 destination will be Seoul on 1st December, and will represent Emirates’ first A380 service to North East Asia.”

The A380 has 35 per cent more seats than its closest rival. It is the most environmentally-advanced commercial aircraft in the sky today, offering better fuel economy than most hybrid passenger cars. The A380 burns up to 20 per cent less fuel per seat than today’s next largest aircraft, and is quieter, generating less than half the noise of other aircraft on takeoff.

The Emirates’ A380 – with 14 First Class Private Suites, 76 Business Class and 399 Economy seats – represents the latest innovation and technology from a company recognized internationally for its in-flight amenities and services. Unique to the Emirates aircraft are its Shower Spas – two fully-equipped bathrooms in the First class cabins with shower facilities. Emirates A380’s ground-breaking in-flight product also features an Onboard Lounge for First and Business class passengers which includes a bar with a wide range of beverages and canapés as well as an exclusive space to socialise or simply relax.

A380 passengers enjoy an elaborate menu created by top international chefs and complemented by the finest beverages. Emirates’ award-winning ‘ice’ (information, communication, entertainment) in-flight entertainment system offers more than 1000 channels of on-demand entertainment, the largest programming currently available in the skies. Each cabin is equipped with an advanced mood lighting system, complete with a starlit sky, which adjusts throughout the flight to reflect the time at the destination and to help combat the effects of jet lag.

First class passengers relax in flat-bed, massage-equipped suites while Business class passengers enjoy a new generation of intelligent seating designed to ensure all 76 flat-bed seats have aisle access. Passengers in Economy will appreciate the straight walls throughout the cabin that lend to a more spacious ambience, enhanced further by generous seats and wider aisles.

About Emirates
Emirates operates 98 non-stop flights per week from the UK to Dubai – five services a day from Heathrow, three daily from Gatwick, two per day from Manchester and Birmingham, and daily services from Newcastle and Glasgow.

Emirates currently flies to more than 100 destinations in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific.

For more information, visit www.emirates.com/uk

LAKE FOREST, California – 07 April 2009 – Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a leading global provider of in-flight entertainment (IFE) and communications systems, congratulates five of its customers for their “best in-flight entertainment.” For ten years, the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards have acknowledged those airlines that have used technology innovation to benefit the flying public. The 2009 award honorees are:

  1. Emirates
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Virgin Atlantic Airways
  4. Cathay Pacific
  5. Qatar Airways

This year’s winners were commemorated at an event at the Aircraft Interiors Exposition in Hamburg, Germany.

“Each year, the World Airline Awards seeks to recognize airlines for their ongoing efforts to utilize technology in order to benefit the flying public,” said Paul Margis, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “We are delighted that these five outstanding airlines have been recognized for their ongoing efforts in innovations that enhances the passenger experience. We applaud them for their creative use of IFE technology to provide the best quality product and service for their passengers.”

The 2009 World Airline Awards are based on the annual World Airline Survey by SKYTRAX, which was conducted between August 2008 and March 2009. The prestigious and highly coveted awards are recognized around the world for its global, independent passenger survey of airline standards.

About Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of in-flight entertainment and communication systems. The company’s best-in-class solutions, supported by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin enabling airlines to deliver the ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions, reduced time-to-market and lower overall costs.

Established in 1979, Panasonic Avionics Corporation is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC). Headquartered in Lake Forest, California, with over 3,100 employees and operations in 80 locations worldwide, it serves over 200 customers worldwide and provides IFEC systems on over 3,700 aircraft. For additional information, please visit www.panasonic.aero.

Friday, March 20, 2009 – Cutting-edge communications for Emirates passengers reached a new milestone today with the first birthday of its world-beating in-flight mobile service with AeroMobile.

History was made a year ago today when the first authorised call on a commercial flight was made on flight EK751, flying from Dubai to Casablanca on March 20th 2008.

Since then, 160,170 passengers have switched on their mobile phone on an Emirates flight to take advantage of the ability to make and receive calls and text messages – more than 50,000 in the last three months alone as the service becomes more widely available and increasingly popular.

The AeroMobile system, which allows passengers to safely make and receive calls during flights, has now been fitted on a total of 32 Emirates aircraft, making it available on one-in-four of Emirates’ services. Emirates Engineering are installing the AeroMobile system on the rest of the fleet, with one aircraft being equipped every ten days or so.

Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Vice President, Passenger Communications and Visual Services, said: “Using this innovative service has now become second nature to our passengers who love the convenience of being able to stay in touch when they choose to.

“It has proved as popular with passengers on all flights to all destinations, not just businessmen and women but also leisure travellers. It’s ideal for just wanting to call home or make contact with family on birthdays or anniversaries.

“Typically about a third of our passengers are switching on their phones onboard AeroMobile-equipped aircraft, so it’s clearly a popular service. We do see many though, that switch on their phone but don’t necessarily use it, showing that they like the idea of being contactable. It’s clear that passengers prefer using their own phone which they are familiar with, rather than the seatback phone.

“The early concerns about potential impact on other passengers have proved, as expected, to be unfounded. We very rarely see multiple calls at the same time, and most calls are shorter than a couple of minutes. Texting using sms has been very popular. The feedback from our customers has been full of enthusiasm.”

The AeroMobile service is being rolled out across the Emirates fleet and is currently operating on five aircraft types, the Boeing 777-200s and 777-300s, plus the Airbus A340-300, A340-500 and A330-200. It is due to be installed on the Boeing 777-300ER from May.

AeroMobile CEO Bjorn-Taale Sandberg said: “With our service firmly established on an increasing number of Emirates’ aircraft, the usage level amongst passengers has increased at a faster pace.

“We’re particularly proud of the quality of the voice service and overall reliability. The comment we most often hear is that people receiving calls from our customers in-flight can’t believe they are calling from 35,000 feet.

“We are looking forward to more growth and rising user numbers throughout 2009 to cement a great first year.”

About AeroMobile

AeroMobile Limited is a UK-based company owned by Telenor ASA and Arinc. It has been pursuing the objective of allowing the safe use of passengers own mobile phones and PDAs since 2003 in response to market demands.

In September 2008, AeroMobile won the “Best Achievement in Technology 2008” award from the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA).

Prior to the launch of the Emirates service, mobile phone use in aircraft has only been allowed in limited, short-term trials which did not support voice calls.

AeroMobile is the first in-flight mobile technology to be commercially available and first flew in June 2005 on Boeing’s 777-200LR ‘Worldliner’ demonstrator aircraft.  In April 2007, AeroMobile implemented a trial service on domestic flights within Australia. This evaluation project, supporting GSM text messaging and GPRS data services, continued until January 2008 having operated on over 1,000 flights.

AeroMobile is teamed with Panasonic Avionics Corporation, the Panasonic’s market-leading in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems provider, to offer the AeroMobile aircraft technology under the eXPhone brand as an integral part of Panasonic’s IFE systems. The AeroMobile system uses the existing Inmarsat satellite communications systems installed on all Emirates aircraft. These systems will be upgraded at the earliest opportunity to Inmarsat’s latest SwiftBroadband service providing further features and capabilities such as GPRS mobile data services.

More information may be found at www.aeromobile.net

18th February 2009 – Emirates Airline today unveiled plans to grow the number of flights across its network by 14 per cent in 2009.

This year, the Dubai based carrier will add 18 new passenger aircraft to its fleet, increasing seating capacity by 14 per cent and enabling it to start new routes as well as increase frequencies on many existing routes. It will also expand cargo capacity by 17 per cent.

The additional frequencies will afford passengers a greater choice of flights, more frequent connections with their target markets and shorter, more convenient connection times.

Emirates currently has a fleet of 129 wide-bodied aircraft. By the end of the 2008-09 financial year (ending 31st March 2009), that figure will stand at 132, including four superjumbo Airbus A380s. The carrier will welcome a further seven A380s in fiscal year 2009-10 (ending 31st March 2010), as well as 10 Boeing 777-300ER, one 777-200LR and one Boeing 777 freighter.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “The next year is not going to be an easy ride for the airline industry. Emirates has prepared the best we can for the challenges we foresee, but we also see it as a time of opportunity. 2009, with our significant capacity increase, will be a year of consolidation for us, with fewer new routes launched than in previous years.

“Instead, we will concentrate on strengthening our presence on routes where there is a greater demand from our customers. All of our new capacity will be deployed in markets where we see growth potential, particularly Africa and the Middle East.”

Indeed, Emirates’ fastest growing markets are Africa and the Middle East, recording 17 and six per cent growth respectively in the last 12 months. To this end, Emirates recently added a second daily flight to Lagos.

It will also introduce services from Dubai to Durban, South Africa on 1st October 2009. The route will be served by a two-class, 278-seat Airbus A330-200 which can carry up to 14 tonnes of cargo into the port city.

Last month, Emirates announced a vast Middle East expansion plan taking the number of seats in the region to 50,000 on 180 flights a week. Additional services to Amman, Riyadh, Jeddah, Kuwait and Damascus were started recently.

Emirates has added 32 weekly flights to its existing Indian services since November. The enhanced capacity means customers now have a choice of 163 weekly flights into 10 gateways in the country.

As new aircraft come online, both Los Angeles and San Francisco – Emirates’ newest routes, launched in October and December – will go from thrice weekly to daily from May. The extra services will add more than 2,000 seats a week between the US west coast and Dubai, which is more than a 100 per cent increase on the current 1,600 seats.

There is increased capacity to Australia with additional daily flights to Brisbane and Melbourne, taking the total number of flights a week to 63 effective from 1st February. Later this year, a third daily service to Sydney will be added. On 1st February, Emirates became the first carrier to operate commercial A380 flights into New Zealand with the launch of its Dubai-Sydney-Auckland service. Operated by a 489-seat Airbus A380 three times a week, it will go daily from 1st May.

Plans are also afoot to deploy superjumbos on Dubai–Seoul and Dubai–Singapore services in November and December respectively.

The first A380 flight between Dubai and Seoul’s Incheon International Airport will depart in November, while the Singapore service will start in December and initially run four times weekly.

In Europe, Emirates has already embarked on an expansion programme. In recent months it has commenced double daily flights into Milan, increased Istanbul services to 11 flights a week, increased services on the Larnaca-Malta route to seven times weekly and Nice flights to five times weekly.

Second daily services into Moscow and Athens are also planned for March.

In total, the additional capacity will see more than 8,635 seats and around 600 tonnes of cargo capacity added to the Emirates fleet.

“Emirates has recorded an annual growth rate of 20 per cent over the last five years,” reported HH Sheikh Ahmed. “In the last two years alone, we have launched 11 new passenger and three cargo-only routes. In 2007, with the launch of its Dubai–Sao Paulo service, we became the first – and only – carrier to fly to six continents non-stop from a single hub.”

Established in October 1985 with flights to Karachi and Mumbai, Emirates Airline today directly serves 101 cities in 61 countries. In October 2008, the Emirates dedicated Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport opened. With a total built-up area of 515,000 sq metres and the capability of handling 43 million passengers annually, the 10-storey concourse was specifically designed with Emirates’ future growth plans in mind.

In 2008, 22 million Emirates passengers passed through Dubai International Airport – an 11 per cent increase on 2007.

For more information, visit http://www.emirates.com/uk