Emirates has unveiled the world’s widest seat-back television screens, to be installed on its new aircraft. The new 12.1-inch screen is the largest economy class seatback system in the world, Emirates says, complete with high-definition displays — another first for the Dubai-based carrier. New screens are also being installed in premium classes, Emirates said May 31, including a 27-inch widescreen in First Class and 20-inch screen in Business Class. Emirates, which is competing with rival Etihad to build a hub-based model from its location in the Arabian Gulf, has long been recognized for the money it pours into in-flight entertainment, winning world’s best entertainment from airline ratings website Skytrax for the last seven years.
The new upgrade, due to be installed on all new Boeing 777s in the fleet and on the carrier’s A380 aircraft (pictured below) from next year, is likely to further consolidate this position. A new computer system, developed by Emirates and Panasonic, will drive the screens, offering over 300 movies, thousands of music tracks and television programs. The new system has been based on a consumer tablet, Emirates says, with the aim of allowing passengers to ‘swipe’ and ‘scroll’ to access functionality and communications features such as SMS and email access. A tie-up with skating brand Quiksilver will also see new entertainment offered for children, including a branded travel journal, wallet and playing cards.