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Emirates’ comedy of errors, or real-life drama?

Emirates’ comedy of errors, or real-life drama?

The Dubai airline’s in-flight movies have been shown with the branding of the airline’s rival, Etihad. Is this a mere “technical error”, or something more?

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March 2, 2010 3:57 by



Dubai’s Emirates airline recently suffered an embarrassing glitch concerning its in-flight entertainment system. According to a report by Bloomberg, a film playing on flights last month had the logo of Emirates’ rival, the Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad, playing intermittently in the background.

A spokesperson from the airline clarified this was due to a mere “technical error.”

“Emirates can confirm that a technical error occurred with security markings on one film,” a company spokeswoman told Bloomberg. “This error occurred during film encoding by a third-party supplier in the US and as a result has also affected a number of other airlines.”

But as one of Kipp’s colleagues puts it, “there are some things which can only happen in Dubai.” And this is one of those things.

After all the rumors circulating about how Abu Dhabi is taking over Emirates, and all the denying by the airline’s officials, the timing of this “error” certainly seems unfortunate. Also, considering the high levels of media monitoring in the UAE, it does seem surprising that the entertainment shown on the airline was not scrutinized more thoroughly. Unless, of course, the slip-up was “allowed” to happen.

Either way, we love the last paragraph of Bloomberg’s article. It just said: “Oil-rich Abu Dhabi has provided Dubai companies with $20bn to help them weather the financial crisis. Emirates has raised more than $1.13 billion to fund new planes.”



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