Emirates Aviation Experience Opens In North Greenwich

On Friday the Mayor cut the ribbon on east London’s latest boondoggle: the Emirates Aviation Experience, a tourist attraction with the lofty aim of “[providing] an insight into the operations and modern achievements of commercial air travel”.

If the name hadn’t tipped you off, the £4m attraction has been paid for by Emirates. Parked beside the Greenwich cable car terminal, the small building houses a model of a jet engine made out of LEGO, some interactive games demonstrating the principles of air travel, a full-size replica of an Airbus A380 nose cone, four flight simulators and (our favourite of the lot) a panoramic video showing a suitcase’s journey through an airport baggage system. There’s also a cafe and a shop selling Emirates swag.

Entry costs £3 for adults, £1.50 for children, but that doesn’t include a go on the flight simulator. Want to try one of those out? You’ll need to fork out £42 for a half-hour flight, or £35 if you go before 10am. Ouch.

Speaking at the launch, the Emirates CEO and Boris Johnson both enthused about the potential of the Aviation Experience to inspire a new generation of aviation enthusiasts. Perhaps, but it’s also little more than a giant interactive advertisement for the airline. Diamond Geezer has written a good article about it, in which he coins the neologism brandtertainment: “An attraction funded by a major company, opened with the sole aim of boosting brand awareness and enhancing customer perception”. He’s documented countless examples, many of them around Greenwich peninsula and the Royal Docks, with the Emirates Aviation Experience merely the latest.

The attraction is open now. Will you be going?

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  • jonathanwthomas

    I actually think this looks pretty cool. But then I’m an Airplane geek. I’m adding this to my itinerary for my next trip to London.

  • m185874

    Going tomorrow morning. Can’t wait!

  • Lightup

    Website not easy to navigate – we missed the information the flight simulator and were surprised and not happy that the flight simulator is at an extra exorbitant cost of £45!

  • Lightup

    Website not easy to navigate – we missed the information about the price for the flight simulator and were surprised and not happy that the flight simulator is at an extra exorbitant cost of £45!

  • Kent Vistor

    Funny as I had heard that the simulator would be free (45 quid!!!), Seems this is another example of Emirates “misinformation”…Cable Car anyone?

  • jonathan rowe

    Went there on saturday with my little boy and it’s very underwhelming. There is a lego model of an engine, a big interactive screen, some airline seats where you can try out the inflight entertainment, an A380 cockpit and the simulators – that’s it. The simulators are very simple with the only controls being stick, rudder and thrust. Plunge it into the ground and it bumps along the ground magically passing through highly pixellated houses.

    We were in there for about 15 mins where we witnessed 2 dissatisfied simulator customers.