Emirates takes Sri Lanka’s popular culture to the skies

There’s nothing quite like watching a movie in one’s own language, or listening to the music of a favourite local artist to feel at home even at 35,000 feet, a fact that Emirates, the world’s largest airline, has invested in with an award-winning inflight entertainment system that caters to hundreds of nationalities including Sri Lankans.

Taking Sri Lankan popular culture to the skies across the world, Emirates’ ice (Information, Communications, Entertainment) inflight entertainment system offers four Sinhala movies and 13 channels of Sinhala music, catering to a wide palette of genres and styles that will surprise and delight travellers from the paradise isle.

The selection, featured in the latest Emirates ice Guide on board Emirates flights and viewable at www.emirates.com encompasses movies in the comedy, historical drama and romance genres, with titles like Bimba Devi alias Yashodhara, Dr. Nawariyan, Porisadaya and Nilanjana.

The choice of Sinhala music on ice is eclectic, ranging from the classics of Pandit W. D. Amaradeva, Victor Rathnayake and Nanda Malini to the evergreen hits of Clarence Wijewardena, KeerthiPasquel, JananathWarakagoda, Freddie Silva and C. D. Fonseka; and the vocal stylings of DeepikaPriyadarshani Peiris, ShanikaSumanasekera, PriyaniJayasinghe, and ShashikaNisansala.

For Tamil speaking passengers, ice also features 10 Tamil movies, two Tamil TV shows and two music channels including the hits of A. R. Rahman that are enjoyed by many Sri Lankans.

“For a global airline flying to over 160 destinations, catering to local and regional tastes is not an easy task, but Emirates continues to show how much it cares about making passengers feel at home with its inflight entertainment system,” said Chandana de Silva, Emirates Area Manager for Sri Lanka & Maldives. “Not many Sri Lankan passengers are even aware of the effort made to offer Sinhala and Tamil content, and while some would choose to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters featured each month, the availability of local music and movies is a great touch, and something that will make Sri Lankans feel proud.”

“This also provides an opportunity for tourists visiting the country for the first time to get a glimpse of the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka through the country’s movies and music,” he added.

Emirates commenced flights to Sri Lanka in April 1986, less than a year after the airline launched operations. Colombo was the fifth destination in a network that has grown to 162 cities in 84 countries over 33 years. The airline has always believed in inclusion, starting from its 135-nationality cabin crew, region specific inflight cuisine and entertainment.

The first airline in the world (in 1992) to install TV screens in every seat on every aircraft in its fleet, Emirates provides one of the most comprehensive and state-of-the-art entertainment and communications services in the skies today, with the industry’s largest in-seat screens in all classes – 32 inches in First Class, 23 inches in Business Class and up to 13.3 inches in Economy Class. The viewing experience in First Class was recently enhanced with Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones created exclusively for Emirates.

Emirates recently reached a new milestone by offering over 1,000 movies inflight, more than any other airline. The films are in addition to TV box sets and music, giving customers over 3,500 channels of on demand entertainment, including over 100 kids channels. The expanded film catalogue offers over 2,000 hours of entertainment that would take 119 trips on the world’s longest A380 flight from Dubai to Auckland to get through. It is available on over 80 aircraft and includes more than 500 Hollywood hits and 600 world movies to cater to Emirates’ diverse and global customer base. Emirates buys content from every major movie market worldwide and offers films in 46 languages.

The airline won its second consecutive Best Entertainment award at the APEX 2019 Global Passenger Choice Awards in September this year.


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