Emirates has always been a leader in service, technology and innovation, and this trend continues with the round of latest news from the Dubai based airline.
With the addition of its 100th new Boeing 777-300ER, the introduction of Budapest to its network and new airport technologies to reduce wait times by up to 40%, Emirates has clearly upped the ante in service and convenience.
But that’s not all. Soon Wi-Fi will be available to passengers in all cabin classes. A welcome move for anyone who travels to its over 143 destinations around the world.
100th Boeing 777-300ER
Emirates has welcomed their 100th Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the fleet with a further 204 on order. The 777 is the world's largest, long-range twin engine commercial aircraft. Emirates is the world's largest operator of this aircraft type with one in every five 777-300ER flying today in Emirates livery.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said, “The Boeing 777-300ER is one of the most remarkable aircraft ever built, and its combination of efficiency, range and payload is second to none. Our customers are equally excited by the aircraft and its on-board product, and to date over 108 million passengers have flown on an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER."
FREE Onboard Wi-Fi
With an investment of over US$20 million annually towards Wi-Fi, Emirates expect free Wi-Fi in all cabin classes to be the new standard of the future.
In October a 200 percent surge in Wi-Fi use onboard was recorded. Currently available on all A380 and 28 Boeing 777 aircraft, the airline has an aggressive retrofit programme to enable Wi-Fi on its entire fleet.
Currently the first 10MB's of data is free which is generally sufficient for most travellers to check their social media accounts with the obligatory check-in from the sky. A small US$1 charge is applicable for the next 600MB but the airline is working towards unlimited free Wi-Fi access.
“It is a fact that our customers want onboard connectivity, and this demand is only going to increase as more people embrace an ‘always-on’ digital lifestyle, and carry smart mobile devices when they travel. We’ve always viewed Wi-Fi as a service and a value-added part of Emirates’ overall product, rather than a revenue stream,” said Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
He added: “If we can offer good quality Wi-Fi connections for everyone onboard at no charge tomorrow, we will do it. But we face a slew of technical limitations – from speed and bandwidth availability and cost, to the supporting hardware and software – all of which we are working hard to address with the industry right now. Ultimately, we believe that onboard Wi-Fi will become a free service, and a standard that customers will expect on a full service airline, just like onboard refreshments and personal inflight entertainment. Emirates is leading the way on this, and we are working closely with our suppliers and various stakeholders towards this vision.”
Journey Manager - New mobile airport app technology
The Journey Manager is a custom-designed application that enables airport staff to retrieve real-time information to respond to customers' needs. Running on the recently launched Samsung note 4, Journey Manager was developed by Emirates in conjunction with Samsung and Etisalat.
Transit passengers will be able to speak with mobile staff (instead of queuing at service desks or gates) and with a simple scan of their boarding pass will have information such as gate assignment or new flight information in the event of delays or cancellations.
“Emirates has always been in the forefront of innovation, and our aim is to continue delivering excellent and more personalised service to our customers. The size and scale of our operations at the airport can be a challenge, especially during peak times where we can see up to 140 departures and arrivals in a four hour window,” said Mohammed H Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Airport Services.
“That is why we have always looked at ways to use technology and automation to improve the customer journey as well as empower our staff whose jobs means they are constantly on the move across the airport terminal. Emirates is again leading the way by using the latest mobile technology in our airport operations. We are proud to have launched the Mobile Journey Manager application on the Samsung Note 4 devices on the same day these devices were released in the market,” added Mr Mattar.
In the most recent destination launch, Emirates is saying hello to Budapest, Hungary. The new daily service, with connections from all Australian ports, will utilise a two class configured Airbus A330-200 from the Dubai hub.
The new flight boosts the footprint of Central Europe and adds to the impressive Emirates global coverage which currently serve 143 destinations in 81 countries.