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In flight entertainment and technology resources for the business traveller is starting to make a difference for many people when choosing which airline to fly.

As one analysts said “Consumers are becoming so use to great entertainment systems at home spanning movies games and business communication that on long flights they automatically expect equally good entertainment in flight”.

On long haul routes out of Australia several airlines spruik their services but it is Emirates that is winning customers over with an entertainment and business technology system that has just taken out a major award in-flight entertainment award at the 2006 Skytrax Awards for Airline Excellence.

Emirates’ entertainment system called “ice” – an acronym for information, communication and entertainment – is available on over 35 per cent of the Emirates fleet including all flights in and out of Australia. It delivers over 500 channels of entertainment, video and audio on demand, and over 40 games and live news headlines. It is also available to travellers in every class. Every economy passenger has access to a personal 10 inch video screen and the ‘ICE’ entertainment system.

A video on demand system allows customers to watch a choice of hundreds of films from almost every genre imaginable – from the latest Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters to timeless classics, world cinema, musicals, and animation – with many titles also available in Arabic and Japanese.

The A340’s music system would be the envy of any home. Stocked with literally thousands of tracks, it has something to suit any taste and can be listened to via noise cancelling stereo headphone. Travellers also have access to e-mail and SMS messaging and satellite telephones. On the Emirates A340-500 there is also a WiFi e-mail service available.

This week Emirates took delivery of its 90th aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER. Emirates are one of the world’s fastest growing international airlines. A substantial portion of Emirates’ future Boeing 777-300ERs was ordered last month at the Dubai Air Show… During the five-day exhibition, Emirates placed the largest-ever order for Boeing 777 aircraft, valued at US$ 9.7 billion. This order comprises 24 Boeing 777-300ERs and 10 Boeing 777-200LR Worldliners – made famous for breaking the world distance record for a commercial airliner. Several of these aircraft will be used on the Australian long haul route.

The Emirates fleet which started on a humble footing of just two leased aircraft in 1985 has since then doubled in size every five years on average. The quantum leap for the airline came in 2000 when Emirates’ almost tripled its fleet size from 31 in 2000 to 87 in 2005.”

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