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Emirates to use iPod tech in-flight

Emirates is flying to the exciting new world of digital media by teaming up with computer pioneer Apple to offer seamless iPod integration with its in-flight entertainment systems. The Dubai-based airline’s passengers - who already enjoy more than 600 channels of in-flight entertainment on its award-winning ice system - will soon have one of the world’s first on-board iPod integrations, enabling them to use the portable devices to enjoy their own choice of music and videos, including full-length feature films, on their seat-back screens. 

The new digital media destination has been announced a week after Emirates revealed it will be the world’s first airline to offer its passengers in-flight mobile phone use across its entire fleet. 


Emirates’ integrated iPod seat connection is scheduled for introduction mid-2007. It will also provide a constant power source to ensure that passengers’ iPods are charged for the duration of their flights. 



The in-flight iPod offerings will be integrated by Panasonic Avionics Corporation and will provide passengers with outstanding sound and seat-back video quality. 


H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group, said, “We have been a leading innovator of in-flight entertainment since introducing the world’s first seat-back screens in 1992. iPod integration keeps us at the cutting edge of entertainment technology, and together with our existing in-flight systems will significantly enhance the enjoyment of flying with Emirates for thousands of our passengers who travel with their iPods.” 


Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing, said, “There is no better traveling companion than an iPod - customers can take their music, photos, TV shows, Podcasts and movies with them everywhere they go. We’re excited to work with Emirates to take iPod connectivity to the next frontier for a seamless digital music and movie in-flight experience.” 


Emirates is one of only six airlines planning to offer iPod integration; the others being Air France, Continental, Delta, KLM and United.


With ice (information communications entertainment), Emirates’ 600-channel in-flight entertainment system currently available on almost half its 100-strong fleet, passengers can enjoy more content than any other in-flight entertainment system in the air.


They can also communicate via SMS and email direct from their seatbacks - and will soon be able to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages, starting early 2007 with the installation of the Aeromobile system.


Emirates won “Best In-Flight Entertainment” at the 2006 World Airline Awards by Skytrax, the second year in a row that the airline was chosen for the accolade, based on results of the Airline In-Flight Entertainment Survey commissioned and conducted by Skytrax Research of London.  This award was voted on by more than one million airline passengers and maintains Emirates’ global leadership in the in-flight entertainment category. 


iPod and iTunes are leading the digital music revolution, providing the best way to listen to music on the go, at home, in the car - and now on an Emirates aircraft. With more than 70 million iPods sold, the iPod is the world’s most popular digital music player and the iTunes Music Store is the number one online music store with over 1.5 billion songs purchased and downloaded worldwide. 


Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online music store.

Emirates won Middle East’s Leading First Class Airline award at this year’s World Travel Awards.