APEX Insight: Panasonic Avionics partnered with Emirates to introduce improvements to its new Boeing 777-300ER cabins, including upgrades to the to the airlines’ ice entertainment system, as well as an increase in quantity of charging ports – all delivered with a 12 percent total reduction in hardware weight.
Emirates revealed its “game-changing” new Boeing 777-300ER interior at the Dubai Airshow yesterday, bringing a series of industry firsts to market. The carrier’s new first-class suites are drawing the most attention, with floor-to-ceiling walls and virtual windows that allow the middle suite passenger to have an exterior view. The updates span all three classes of service, however, offering each passenger on board an improved experience. The newly configured aircraft will enter service in December 2017 on the company’s Geneva and Brussels routes.
Emirates’ president Sir Tim Clark described the expected changes, focusing on an improved experience, nose-to-tail: “The inflight experience is the heart of our brand and service proposition … Throughout the aircraft, our customers will see modern and airy cabins, with painstaking attention to detail evident in design touches such as the textured wall and ceiling panels, lighting features, and more.”
Many of these improvements were realized in partnership with Panasonic Avionics Corporation through upgrades to the carrier’s ice entertainment system. “Panasonic and Emirates have worked together for over 20 years to provide best in class experiences for their passengers,” said Hideo Nakano, CEO of Panasonic Avionics. “Emirates challenged us two years ago to take another huge step forward with the ice experience in all classes of service, while reducing weight by 12 percent. Together, we did it.”
Passengers in the first-class suites will have several options available to control the new 32-inch HD display. A 13-inch tablet serves as both as a second screen for content and as a seat controller. It also sports a camera and microphone to allow for video calls to the cabin crew in the galley. A second, wireless controller offers the full array of buttons necessary to control the ice entertainment kit, as well as a “sleep” button that transforms the suite into a sleep-friendly environment with one click.
The new business-class cabin offers passengers fully flat beds and a 23-inch HD screen. This is the largest business-class screen flying on the Emirates fleet and one of the largest in the world. It also includes an HDMI input for passengers to play their own content – a major upgrade over prior generations’ RCA or eXport connectors.
Economy passengers will no longer fight with an electronics box for under-seat space. The new slim devices are 22 percent lighter and less intrusive on passenger living space. The upgraded power system in economy class also delivers a lighter solution with a proprietary distribution scheme that allows every seat to have a dedicated outlet. The economy class screens have also been upgraded, with integrated buttons on the HD monitor and USB charging points.
In all three cabins, passengers will have access to high-power USB-C ports to charge their mobile devices. This is an aviation industry first and is in addition to the USB-A ports also installed at each seat.
Notably, all of the system improvements were delivered with a 12 percent total reduction in hardware weight. Not only is the new ice entertainment system more powerful and better for passengers but it is lighter to fly, making it better for the environment as well.