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Emirates is claiming a first with the launch of an airline virtual reality application on the Oculus store.

The app enables prospective passengers to view facilities such as the first class product, onboard lounge, the wider cabin and explore the cockpit.

The content can be viewed via the Emirates website, mobile app and most recently via an Oculus Rift device.

According to an Emirates’ spokesperson the carrier has continued to invest in its virtual reality experience which started in 2018 with the carrier launching its first VR efforts.

“This initiative expands our global reach and ability to engage with our audiences across digital platforms. It is also particularly relevant right now, as many people have not travelled for a while due to the pandemic, and are seeking inspiration and researching and rediscovering their flight options.”

The technology was developed in partnership with Renacen and there are plans to update the content to include the airline’s Premium Economy cabin as well as its latest A380 interiors.

Customers can also view and select seats via a 3D seat map prior to check in using any VR headset such as Google Cardboard.

Emirates also plans to enable customers to explore destinations and book and pay for their flight from within the Oculus VR app. 

Diego Cachero, chief executive of Spain-based Renacen, says the development “positions and differentiates us internationally as leaders in 3D and VR development, both for web and heavy applications.”

Carriers have tested different virtual and augmented reality applications in recent years with Virgin Atlantic partnering with Sita to use VR for crew training while Air New Zealand launched an AR experience for travel inspiration. 

British Airways and Qantas have both trialled the technology for the inflight experience.


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