Emirates introduces wireless charging of electronic devices in its lounges


By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Catering to frequent travellers who are suffering from so-called ‘battery anxiety’, Emirates has installed 30 wireless ‘inductive charging’ trays in its First Class and Business Class lounges in Concourses A, B and C at Dubai International Airport. The trays allow customers to wirelessly charge up their smartphones simply by placing them on top of the tray.

The carrier said it placed the trays — which use the Qi wireless charging standard and are compatible with Android, Blackberry and, with a cable, iPhone devices — in “highly visible” locations. Each tray can charge two devices simultaneously.

Commenting on the new services, Mohammed Mattar, Emirates’ divisional SVP of airport services, said: “Mobile devices are an intrinsic part of our lives, and at Emirates we see free wifi and wireless charging on the go, as becoming the norm in the future travel experience.

IKEA, Starbucks
In the past few years, wireless charging of personal devices has becoming more mainstream. For example, battery brand Duracel now offers a ‘MyGrid’ charging pad (In Duracell’s words: ‘drop & go charging’) for around USD 40, while IKEA has launched a furniture range that has wireless charging technology integrated into the surface.

Starbucks is also rolling out wireless charging pads at its coffeehouses in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.

Delta lounge, Toronto Pearson Airport, SSP
Emirates introduction of the wireless charging pads follows several airlines and airports that have also jumped on this novel technology.

For example, Delta has installed Duracell’s wireless Powermats in the seating areas of its domestic SkyClub lounges. The wireless charging pads are designed for lower power charging devices such as cell phones, smart phones and e-readers. Adapters for a variety of different devices are available from Delta staff in the lounge. Read full article »

Emirates ranked as world’s most valuable airline brand

Emirates_Hello Tomorrow_a680x340

This case appears in the March 2014 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying, which identifies the latest innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more » 

Each year, British brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance releases its Global 500 report, which ranks the world’s most valuable brands by assessing the dollar value of a company’s reputation, image and intellectual property.

The top 4 brands on the global list – repectively Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft – have remained the same for the past two years, while Verizon replaced Walmart on the fifth spot this year.

2014’s top 500 ranking includes six airlines and for the third consecutive year Emirates is regarded as the most valuable airline brand worldwide. The airline finished 234th out of the 500 evaluated global brands (up from last year’s 287th spot) with a a brand valued at USD 5.48 billion, a 34 percent increase on Emirates’ 2013 valuation.

Hello Tomorrow
Equal to its fleet expansion plans (on top of its current fleet of 200 widebody aircraft, ‘super-connector’ Emirates has over 350 widebodies on order), the airline has big ambitions for the positioning of its brand, aiming to evolve the airline from a travel brand to a global lifestyle brand.

Emirates’ current global brand campaign ‘Hello Tomorrow’ was launched in April 2012. The brand platform is designed to appeal to what Emirates calls “globalistas – a new generation of global consumers who are looking for new experiences across cultures,” with Emirates being the brand that is enabling this global lifestyle. Read full article »

Emirates new ‘Executive A319’ features private jet lounge and First Class suites

Emirates Executive A319_a680x450

By Jonny Clark, TheDesignAir

Emirates has always been a luxurious airline, and their First Class is amongst one of the best in the skies, so no surprise that they have decided to include the award winning First Class suite in their new executive jet. Many airlines have taken to providing an executive jet service, from Qatar Airways to Lufthansa, but none have really considered offering something to this level of luxury. Your own private A319 jet will take you wherever you and 18 of your associates want to go.

Dubbed ‘Emirates Executive‘ the new service is the epitome of luxury, and no doubt will have a hefty price tag associated with it, but that price tag includes 10 private First Class suites, a lounge with chairs and a sofa, table and all the executive mod cons you would require, and to top it off, a shower, once only available on the super-giant A380s.

We have always looked at executive jets as a little less luxurious than first class suites, lacking in the privacy or exclusive touches such as personal TVs, AVOD, bedding etc, and finally it seems that the airline has learned that exclusive jets should mean the same, (or if not more) level of quality in the product as their first class suites and this aircraft layout seems to work perfectly. We love the fact the branding of the aircraft is subdued, with just the Emirates logo appearing by the door, and the rest of the airframe with a simple white exterior [video here].

The ten Private Suites are each equipped with sliding privacy doors, fully-flat bed seats, visitor’s seat, personal mini-bar and a 32” screen displaying our award-winning ICE entertainment system. Full Wi-Fi, mobile phone connectivity, and video conferencing are also available throughout your flight. One thing is for sure, we are going to start playing the lottery a lot more now….

Our newsletter is read by aviation professionals from:sign up now »

Emirates provides 1,000 pursers with HP tablets as part of ‘knowledge-driven’ in-flight service drive

By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Already launched back in 2004, Emirates ‘Knowledge-driven Inflight Service’ (KIS) allows the airline’s cabin crew to see which previous trips a passenger has taken with the carrier before and based on this, know their food, wine and seating preferences, or any issues a customer had during their travels. Pursers use KIS to brief the cabin crew before every flight and check passenger’s special needs, as well as see who is enrolled in Emirates’ frequent flyer programme Skywards in order to enable the crew to provide a more personalized service. Cabin crew can also use the KIS system to perform in-flight upgrades to Business or First Class, as well as post customer feedback that’s emailed to headquarters upon landing.

Until now, Emirates’ KIS tool was tied to a Lenovo Thinkpad laptop that pursers tote around (video here). However, the laptops proved to be too bulky to use on a full flight. Says Anita Grillo, purser for Emirates, “The laptops had to be unpacked and plugged in because they had a short battery life. We had to ask passengers to come back to the galley to verify information, and passengers would have to wait until we clicked through pages that were sometimes slow to load.”

HP ElitePad 900
In order to solve the issues with the rather outdated device, as well as further enhance its knowledge-driven inflight service, Emirates just announced it has become the first global customer of the HP’s new ElitePad 900 tablet which runs on Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system. According to Kevin Griffiths, SVP of cabin crew at Emirates, the airline tried numerous other devices but was attracted to the ElitePad by its looks, lack of weight and bulk and support for legacy (Windows-based) applications.

Emirates IT staff redesigned the KIS application to run on Windows 8 and deployed it on the ElitePad tablets. “We quickly rebuilt the application to include images and gestures,” Griffiths told Techradar. “The whole project from the development starting has been about six months. We have already trained 100 people and they will go online in December. In January after the launch of the ElitePad we’ll be rolling out over about four months and all of our pursers will have a device each then.”

The ElitePad is 3G enabled and Emirates has airtime agreements in place in most of its 120 destinations, so the tablet is synchronised with the back end applications and loads the final status just before departure, as well as will on landing.
Read full article »

Emirates offers parents in transit free use of baby strollers at its Dubai hub

By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Airlines from the Gulf Region tend to make an extra effort to accommodate passengers travelling with young children. Witness for example Gulf Air’s Sky Nannies who offer help with boarding and disembarkation and keep a watchful eye on children during the flight should parents doze off or just want to get engrossed in a book or a movie. A Sky Nanny is also present in Gulf Air’s lounge at Bahrein Airport.

On a similar note, Etihad’s ‘Family Room’ at its Abu Dhabi hub, has nannies meet and greet families travelling with children at the lounge entrance before taking the kids to the family room, where they can play with toys, read books and watch television all under supervision of the nannies that have professional training in childcare and first aid.

Stroller service
Meanwhile in Dubai, Emirates – which sees the majority of its passengers transfer to another flight at its hub – for several years has been offering a complimentary baby stroller service for passengers arriving and transiting at Dubai International Airport.

The baby strollers are available to passengers on arrival at every Emirates gate at the airport. The colourful strollers, easily identifiable with their prominent Emirates branding, are manufactured by MacLaren and include a disposable hygiene seat cover. The baby strollers are placed in specially-marked cupboards located at arrival gates for passengers disembarking their Emirates flight so they can conveniently help themselves to a stroller.

Emirates baggage staff are on hand to ensure these strollers (including twin versions) are available round-the-clock and that the cupboards are always stocked. For passengers ending their journey in Dubai, strollers can be returned at designated areas in the arrivals baggage hall and for passengers in transit, strollers can be deposited at their next departure gate.
Read full article »

As it turns Dubai into a global hub, Emirates embraces a diverse passenger base

By Vivek Mayasandra

Over recent years, Gulf-based carriers Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad have dazzled the global airline industry with their aircraft orders, premium services and rapid expansion. Besides targetting traditional routes such as Europe – Australasia, Emirates, the leader of Gulf aviation growth, has aggressively capitalized on new passenger flows, connecting Asia with Africa and with Latin America via its Dubai hub – markets which will collectively occupy over 60 percent of passenger flows by the year 2030, according to Boeing’s latest market forecast.

As Emirates states in its latest annual report: “The future of our industry is being written not only in long-established air routes, but also in places like China, India and Africa – markets where the demand for air transport, both passenger and cargo, is growing at an incredible rate.” […] “Our strategic hub in Dubai plays a key role in establishing new trade routes by linking emerging markets to more developed ones, such as connecting Moscow to Durban, Beijing to Luanda or Hyderabad to Sao Paulo.”

This focus has enabled Emirates to position and brand itself to a newly global customer base – and more importantly – develop solutions in service, dining and entertainment for a wide array of diverse passenger tastes.

Cabin crew
In the air, Emirates’ diverse cabin crew is indicative of its global focus – the airline employs cabin crew from more than 130 nationalities. This lets Emirates typically staff their flights with speakers of Arabic, English and the local language of the flight’s destination. Being an Gulf-based carrier, Emirates’ crew are also trained for a variety of Arab and Muslim cultural situations – from being taken to mosques, learning how to serve the traditionally Arab meal of coffee and dates, to properly serving veiled Muslim passengers.

Read full article »

Innovative airlines 2011: #10 Emirates Airline

Number 10 on our innovative airlines list is  rapidly growing Emirates, already the largest airline in the world in terms of international passenger kilometers, and mostly known for its aggressive fleet expansion. For example, Emirates’ total order book in November 2010 stood at 201 widebody aircraft (including 76 A380s, 48 B777s and 70 A350s). Other well-known amenities of the airline include its state of the art ‘ICE’ IFE system and the inflight extravaganza (suites, showers, and a staffed lounge bar in First) on its A380 flagships.

Besides its dazzling growth and premium amenities, Emirates has also introduced some smaller, lesser known innovations in response to trends such as the growing middle class in emerging economies, the need for connectivity, and co-creation.

More diverse travellers
The growth of the middle class in emerging economies such as the BRICs and the ‘Next 11,’ as well as the growing economic importance of these countries is resulting in airline passengers with more diverse cultural backgrounds and tastes. Emirates’ wide range of cabin crew nationalities – now numbering more than 130 – allows the airline to roster cabin crew on each flight who speak English, Arabic and the language of the destination. On a related cultural note, during the holy month of Ramadan Emirates provides fasting passengers observing Ramadan with small ‘Iftar’ snack boxes at the boarding gates of Dubai Airport on flights departing close to sunset, so that passengers can break their fast immediately.

Inflight connectivity, e-zone
In March 2008, Emirates was the first carrier to introduce inflight GSM connectivity on a large scale, and currently passengers on 87 of its 145 aircraft can use their cellphones and pda’s to make voice calls and send sms-messages. Emirates is also in the process of rolling out inflight WiFi on its A380s. Enhancing its digital entertainment offering on the ground, Emirates in 2009 teamed up with Microsoft to create an entertainment zone in its Business Class Lounge at Dubai Airport. The so-called ‘e-zone’ features several Microsoft Surface tables, a 3-screen Xbox 360 car racing simulator, and a Xbox 360 ‘pentapod’.
Read full article »

Advertising campaign at London Heathrow uses interactive Microsoft Surface tables

JCDecaux Airport and Tag Heuer watches have launched an interactive table-top advertising campaign at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5. For a  month, two Microsoft ‘Surface’ tables carrying TAG Heuer content have been installed in the airport’s Terminal 5 gate room and lounge.

The Tag Heuer Surface tables let passengers to find destination-specific tourist information, as well as details of TAG Heuer watches. Using an interactive world map passengers could choose popular destinations and explore local time, travel duration and view local landmarks. Travelers could also enter their email address on the tabletop to receive further details. JCDecaux says it is considering to roll out the technology to other airport locations.
Read full article »

Our newsletter is read by aviation professionals from:sign up now »