Inside Emirates airline's plans to be the 'Netflix of the skies'

Exclusive: Emirates airline's personalised entertainment options based on previous preferences will be available in just over a year
Inside Emirates airline's plans to be the 'Netflix of the skies'
Patrick Brannelly, the airline’s divisional vice president of customer experience, in-flight entertainment and connectivity, said Emirates sees providing better entertainment options than their competitors as “core” to the airline’s operations and success.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 02 Apr 2019 09:39 AM

Emirates airline will begin offering tailored, Netflix-style personalised content in 2020, according to Patrick Brannelly, the airline’s divisional vice president of customer experience, in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business, Brannelly said that the airline’s in-flight entertainment system will allow passengers to log-in and be presented with tailored offerings matching previous preferences, such as movies based on previous choices.

“The idea is that you log-in to a seat, just the same as you would log-in to Netflix,” he explained. “For example, if you log-in to a system and you choose to watch a German movie, you’re probably German, so let’s bring all the other German content to the top … if you’re watching a film for a four-year-old you’re probably young, so let’s bring the younger content to the top.”

Personalise content

Brannelly added that over time, the system will use ‘smarts’ and AI to personalise content for each customer.

“People want stuff that is relevant to them and they want to get to it quickly,” he said.

Passengers who prefer to remain anonymous don’t have to log-in to use the entertainment system.

The new system – which is being developed by French multinational Thales – will be available in little over a year from now, according to Brannelly.

Additionally, he said that the system could “potentially” lead to tailored advertising, or may include no advertising whatsoever.

Brannelly said the airline sees providing better entertainment options than their competitors as “core” to the airline’s operations and success.

“The idea of choice in your own language is really important. We want people to feel at home,” he said. “I want people to get on-board and [realise that Emirates] has more [options] than their national airline.

“Entertainment is not trivial…some airlines see it as non-core. We have guests on-board that are with us for many hours and we need to make sure they have a fabulous experience, and entertainment is part of that.”

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