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Emirates pushes ahead with $20 million IFC investment

Emirates is in the process of equipping all of its Boeing 777-300ERs and 777-200LRs with in-flight connectivity (IFC) services, whilst all of its Airbus A380s are already Wi-Fi enabled.

The airline says it is installing two or three aircraft with in-flight Wi-Fi every month and that its total number of connected aircraft now stands at 106.

This is spearheaded by Emirates’ $20 million annual commitment to installing and maintaining IFC systems. Since updating their onboard services in February, the airline has reported a 25% increase in passenger uptake, with data showing that onits ultra-long haul flights (over 14 hours) 30% of passengers use its in-flight Wi-Fi.

Furthermore, on a recent flight to New York, Emirates found that 66% of passengers used the in-flight Wi-Fi, demonstrating its assessment that free IFC will be the standard that passengers demand in the future.

“Customers seek free Wi-Fi on-the-go, especially while travelling, and it is becoming the norm for most people who want to stay connected through online social networks and instant messaging. Emirates is subsidising or waiving the high cost of buying data to serve our passengers on routes across six continents. We foresee that free Wi-Fi onboard is the future standard for all our customers, something that will require no charge or limitations,” says Patrick Brannelly, divisional vice president for customer experience.

Emirates has calculated that in 2014, nearly 650,000 customers used its in-flight Wi-Fi service and, as of early March this year, more than 350,000 customers have already used the service.

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