Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will offer passengers one of the world’s most comprehensive in-flight entertainment systems when it launches its new Panasonic eX2 system next month.
The new in-flight entertainment incorporates a range of up-to-the-minute features including:
· an iPOD connector in every seat on the aircraft, for playing and recharging iPODS, with an additional RCA connection in first and business class making it possible to connect other portable entertainment devices (MP3’s, DVD players etc) to the IFE system;
· an easy-to-use interactive interface in Arabic and English; and
· a specially designed ‘Just for Kids’ interface for children under 12, featuring a sub-set of all the entertainment options that would appeal to a younger audience.
The first of five new Airbus A330-300 aircraft to offer the system will arrive in December 2009. The Panasonic eX2 system will also be fitted on the Etihad’s new fleet of Boeing B777 aircraft scheduled for delivery from 2011.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “As a long haul premium carrier – and the world’s leading airline – whatever we offer our passengers has to be the best in class.
“Our customers tell us that in-flight entertainment is a critical part of their enjoyment onboard, so we looked long and hard at the options available to make sure we selected the most modern, user-friendly system. The Panasonic eX2 allows us the flexibility to tailor features and provide our passengers with a more individual in-flight entertainment experience.”
Additional features available with the new Panasonic eX2 system include:
· 23” personal wide screen TV monitors in first class, with the new business class offering new 15.4” wide screens and economy class 10.6” wide screen monitor in each seat.
· Over 600 hours of entertainment, including a selection of 85 movies, 114 popular TV shows and a CD library of over 450 albums.
· A premium handset in first and business class providing short-cut keys to the various IFE options, and featuring an LED display providing information about the media currently playing and an update on the time to and time at destination.
· Picture-in-picture feature.
· Keyword search functionality.
· An option in first class for passengers to use Etihad Room Service by placing a telephone call to the crew from the comfort of their suite, as well as a “Do Not Disturb” feature that posts a message outside the suite.
· A new Do Not Disturb feature in business class that can be activated via the E-Box IFE system.
· A games portal offering 60 games, including a selection of 3-D games. Players can create their own profiles and avatars, and invite other passengers to join in multi-player games. The portal displays the five most played games on each aircraft, and also provides articles and news on games.
· A ‘My Videos’ feature where favourite movie or TV titles can be added to a play list to make the selection process easier.
· ‘My Audio’, which offers passengers the opportunity to create a jukebox by selecting and storing CDs or their favourite tracks.
· ‘Magazine Rack’, featuring interesting articles and travel tips on a range of popular destinations.
Passengers will also be able to use the system to access a range of services and information, including a variety of interactive maps, and downward and forward facing cameras for viewing the passing landscape or the view from the front of the aircraft.
In-seat telephones in all classes allow for calls to be made from every seat to anywhere in the world at a charge of $6 per minute using a valid credit card – or to other seats on the aircraft.
Noise cancelling headsets are available in all travel classes, and passengers can also provide feedback on Etihad’s services by completing surveys via the IFE system, and on flights to Abu Dhabi, information on connecting flights and arrival information will also be accessible.