Annapolis, Maryland, USA, August 12, 2008 — Emirates made its first commercial flight with its new Airbus A380 flagship from Dubai to New York at 07.04 GMT Friday 1 August, touching down at 16:30 local time.
The full complement of over 510 passengers and crew on the maiden revenue flight were able to stay connected and share their experiences with their loved ones on terrafirma throughout the 13 hour 10 minute flight thanks to satellite communications technology from ARINC Inc. ARINC has been Emirates’ Satellite Service Provider for the entire fleet of over 100 passenger aircraft since June 2006.
Passengers, including many members of the media onboard for the maiden commercial flight, made more than 40 phone calls from the in-seat telephones, and sent and received more than 450 sms and e-mails from the seatback TV screens.
Passengers were also able to keep up-to-date with what was happening in the world below, via text news headlines updated live from the BBC and displayed free of charge on the seatback TVs. Passengers can choose to display new headlines as they arrive onboard, on a tickertape at the top of the screen when watching a movie.
“Connectivity usage on the first revenue flight was, as expected, slightly higher than usual reflecting the excitement of the occasion,” said Emirates’ Patrick Brannelly, Vice President Passenger Communications & Visual Services. “The A380 is a wonderful aircraft and Emirates flagship aircraft that has added an extra romance back in to the travel experience. Inflight entertainment and connectivity is a core part of our service offering and passengers on our first flight enjoyed it to the full.”
Congratulating Emirates on its debut commercial flight, Andy Hubbard, ARINC Director Aviation Solutions EMEA, said, “We are delighted to share in the success of Emirates’ first revenue flight. We have an excellent relationship with Emirates and we wish them every success with the incredible new A380.”
The Emirates A380 flew from Airbus' Hamburg facility to Dubai on Tuesday, July 29th. The carrier has ordered a total of 58 A380s—and is the largest customer of the type.
ARINC, a renowned leader in IFE communication applications, provides connectively solutions to many airlines worldwide. Its in-flight passenger services offer the broadest spectrum of interest for leisure and business travellers.
ARINC Incorporated, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, provides communications, engineering and integration solutions for commercial, defense and government customers worldwide. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland with regional headquarters in London and Singapore, ARINC is ISO 9001:2000 certified. For more information, visit the web site at www.arinc.com.