Emirates reveals new screens for ICE

Updated 02 June 2012
0

Emirates reveals new screens for ICE

In its on-going efforts to invest in the latest entertainment content and newest systems, Emirates recently upgraded the hardware on its new Boeing 777 fleet to bigger, much wider, and digitally-enhanced screens for its winning in-flight entertainment system ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment) — bringing it in premium quality to every seat in Emirates First, Emirates Business, and Economy Class.
Passengers will now be able to enjoy Emirates' award-winning entertainment with wider personal TV screens: 27-inch in First Class, 20-inch in Business Class and 12.1 inch in Economy Class, an increase from the 10.9 inch screen, making the latter the biggest in the world. Additionally, Emirates' new screens feature high definition (HD) resolution, developed by Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), making it one of the world's first commercial airlines to install such state-of-the-art technology. The new hardware will complement Emirates new, enhanced Graphical User Interface (GUI), developed by Panasonic and Emirates, which was recently launched and designed specifically to make content and system features easier to navigate. Through a staggering choice of over 1300 channels of entertainment, including over 300 movies from around the world, hundreds of TV choices and thousands of music tracks from contemporary to classical, ice Digital Widescreen provides passengers with one of the world's best in-flight experiences.
The GUI, which is unique to Emirates, includes a wide range of advanced capabilities that enhances the distinctiveness and elegance of Emirates' in-flight system, ice Digital Widescreen.
The enhanced screens and GUI will be introduced on all new Boeing 777 joining the Emirates fleet and subsequently over the next year on Emirates' A380 aircraft. The system will be available in all classes of service, an Emirates standard.
"Emirates' goal is to ensure maximum comfort and choice for passengers during their in-flight entertainment, communications and in-flight experience," said Adel Al-Redha, Emirates EVP operations and engineering.
 


Jordanian cabinet approves new IMF-guided tax law to boost finances

Updated 50 sec ago
0

Jordanian cabinet approves new IMF-guided tax law to boost finances

AMMAN: Jordan’s cabinet on Monday approved major IMF-guided proposals that aim to double the income tax base, as a key part of reforms to boost the finances of a debt-burdened economy hit by regional conflict.
“When only 4 percent of Jordanians pay (personal) income tax, this may not be the right thing,” Finance Minister Omar Malhas said in remarks after the cabinet meeting, adding the goal was to push that to eight percent. The draft legislation was submitted to parliament.
The IMF’s three-year Extended Fund Facility program aims to generate more state revenue to gradually bring down public debt to 77 percent of GDP in 2021, from a record 95 percent.
A few months ago Jordan raised levies on hundreds of food and consumer items by unifying general sales tax (GST) to 16 percent — removing exemptions on many basic goods.
In January subsidies on bread were ended, doubling some prices in a country with rising unemployment and poverty among its eight million people.
The income tax move and the GST reforms will bring an estimated 840 million dinars ($1.2 billion) in extra annual tax revenue that will help reduce chronic budget shortfalls normally covered by foreign aid, officials say.
Corporate income tax on banks, financial institutions and insurance companies will be pushed to 40 percent from 30 percent. Taxes on Jordan’s phosphate and potash mining industry will be raised to 30 percent from 24.
The government argues the reforms will reduce social disparities by progressively taxing high earners while leaving low-paid public sector employees largely untouched.
“This is a fair tax law not an unfair one,” said Malhas, who shrugged off criticism the law is lenient on many businesses connected to politicians whose transactions are not subject to tax scrutiny.
Husam Abu Ali, the head of the Income and Sales Tax Department, said a proposed IMF-recommended Financial Crime Investigations Unit will stiffen penalties for tax evaders. Critics say it will not tackle pervasive corruption in state institutions.
Abu Ali said the government could be losing hundreds of millions of dollars through tax evasion, which is as high as 80 percent in some companies.
The amendments lower the income tax threshold and raise tax rates. Unions said the government was caving in to IMF demands and squeezing more from the same taxpayers.
“It is penalizing a group that has long paid what it owes the state,” the unions syndicate said in a statement.
“It imposes injustice on employees whose salaries have barely coped with price hikes rising madly in recent years.”