Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Emirates made industry news at the Dubai Air Show with a surprise order for 40 of Boeing’s 787-10 Dreamliner jets. But the Dubai-based carrier also used the air show to unveil its new first-class cabin that it teased earlier this year. Now, the new design is out. Emirates revealed an updated “suites” first-class product that gives fliers up to 40-square-feet of space and seats that convert into lie-flat beds and come with sliding privacy doors.
Emirates will add the new first-class seats to its new Boeing 777-300ER jets still on order. The new suites cabin will be installed in a 1-1-1 configuration, lowering the density from Emirates’ current 1-2-1 layout on the airline's Boeing 777s that feature a comparable suites cabin. The update continues something of a premium-cabin arms race among the world’s high-end carriers. It was less than two weeks ago that Singapore Airlines – frequently tabbed as the world’s most luxurious carrier – rolled out its own new first-class suites for its Airbus A380 jets.
TODAY IN THE SKY: Swivel chairs, double beds, 32" TVs: Check out Singapore Air's swanky new 'suites' (story continues below) Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Emirates, of course, helped launch the contemporary airline luxury suite when it rolled out suites-style cabins on its then-new Airbus A380s. In addition to the actual seating areas, those first-class cabins included showers that could be used by first-class fliers as well as bar and lounge areas.
Gulf-rival Etihad has since rolled out its own luxurious first-class cabins, which top out with ‘The Residence,' a 120-square foot mini apartment with a queen bed, shower, and private butler. Etihad also offers a more-typical first-class suite that it bills as the "Apartment," a seat that comes with a separate bed and sitting area. In unveiling Emirates’ latest update, airline president Tim Clark took the opportunity to laud the carrier’s high-end offerings.
“The in-flight experience is the heart of our brand and service proposition. The new 777 interiors that we are unveiling today is part of Emirates’ ongoing investment to continually raise the bar and exceed our customers’ expectations,” Clark said in a statement. The new cabin interiors coming to Emirates’ still-to-be delivered 777-300ERs also will get updated business-class and economy seats.
However, Emirates’ business-class seats will continue to be arranged in a 2-3-2 layout. That puts the carrier at a disadvantage against an increasing number of high-end global carriers that now promise direct-aisle access from every seat in business. Passengers will see Emirates new 777 interior enter service quickly. It will debut Dec. 1 on Emirates’ flights between its Dubai hub and the European airports serving Brussels and Geneva, Switzerland.
Other cities will likely join the mix soon, but a broader roll-out may be slow. Emirates will be adding the cabin to six new 777-300ERs that are still to be delivered from Boeing. Beyond that, a so far small number others will be retrofitted, Clark said to The Points Guy. “We’ll have probably eight or nine maximum by the end of 2019,” Clark told the publication. Emirates already has more than 125 777-300ERs in its fleet.
“We’ll look at the 300ERs and how much life they have left, and see if it’s worth to make over,” Clark added to The Points Guy, saying further that there’s not yet a timeline for bringing the new suites to Emirates’ flagship A380. ARCHIVES: Emirates shows off its Airbus A380 superjumbo at Washington Dulles Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide This photo, provided by Emirates, shows the new first-class 'suite' that will be offered on the carrier's Boeing 777 aircraft.
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Lisa Loverro , Contributor I write about luxury hideaways and unique travel experiences. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. While most long-haul flights leave me in a state of exhaustion, a recent experience aboard Emirates Airline A380 Airbus’ First Class cabin not only invigorated me but also made me wonder…could I ever fly economy again? The LCD TV Screen And Vanity Inside Your Private Cabin Flying as an invited guest of Emirates Airlines to experience their first class cabin, I dined on gourmet cuisine, sipped Dom Perignon Champagne and even indulged in a shower spa treatment.
My own private suite (there are 14 in total) featured remote controlled sliding doors for complete privacy along with a vanity desk, personal mini bar, a 23” inch LCD movie screen and, of course, a flat bed. The bar/lounge area towards the rear of the plane’s upper deck allowed for mingling with others and kept my mind off the 14-hour journey home. The Business Class Lounge But it wasn’t until I experienced Emirates’ Shower Spa treatment, after my comfy 4-hour nap, that I knew there could be no other flying experience to top this.
With personal “spa attendant” in tow, my 25-minute session began with an herbal detox juice of fresh ginger and carrot served in my suite, followed by a quick briefing on the shower facilities; heated floor, customized shower products, hair dryer and fluffy towels. Stepping into a shower at 40,000 feet is quite an adventure…what if we hit turbulence? What if the “return to seat” light flashed on? I tried to put those thoughts out of my head as I turned my face upward towards the hot water gushing from the shower's head.
This was heaven! After my 5-minutes of allotted “shower time” (more than enough), my moisturized skin and freshly shampooed hair made me feel more refreshed than I did before stepping onto the plane. My Shower Spa treatment concluded with an assortment of fresh fruits and green tea waiting for me in my cabin. Bath Amenities In Their Shower Spa Suite Of course, all of this comes with a hefty price and, for full disclosure, this was a complimentary ticket.
But if you find yourself in a position to indulge in one thing during your next excursion, book a First Class suite on Emirates Airline’s A380 and whisk yourself off into a new dimension in aviation. Check out this video below for a quick video tour I shot during my flight.