By Courtney Trenwith
BBC World News and live sports among streaming entertainment now offered
Dubai's Emirates Airline has launched four live TV channels on its new Boeing 777 aircraft, including live sport.
‘ice TV Live’ will offer passengers BBC World News in English, BBC Arabic, Euronews and Sport24 - a channel dedicated to major sports events around the world.
The airline is specifically promoting its sporting coverage on the back of its sponsorship of Formula 1 and several top tier European football teams.
Sport24 will include English Premier League and Bundesliga football matches and this year’s coverage of the Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open Tennis, ATP Tour Masters 1000 Series, ATP World Tour Finals, US Open Golf, and the British and Irish Lions Tour.
The channels expand the existing BBC text news headlines introduced in 2003, which made Emirates the first airline in the world to offer such live news updates.
“Installing the type of satellite communication that allows live TV on an aircraft is no easy feat,” Emirates executive vice-president of engineering and operations Adel Al Redha said.
Emirates was also the first airline to introduce GSM telephones on its aircraft and more recently enabled Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi is now available on 32 aircraft including all A380s, while mobile phones can be used on 98 aircraft, including Boeing 777s and Airbus A330-200s, A340-300/500s and A380s.
In a statement, Emirates said it aimed to provide the most connectivity, the best comfort and the most engaging in-flight entertainment in the skies.
Last year it also introduced touch TV screens similar to tablets, larger personal TV screens (27-inch in First Class, 20-inch in Business Class and 12.1 inch in Economy Class – with high definition (HD) resolution).
Reality check needed - this service is installed on just one of Emirates' 777s. So no one should rush to their flight expecting to see Live TV at this time. The service will be extended across the fleet - in time.
Once again Arabian Business regurgitates the press release and asks no questions.