It’s no surprise that Emirates has finally announced that it is set to unveil its new Business Class seat for its Boeing new 777 aircraft at ITB Berlin, the international travel trade show which takes place in just a couple of days time. After just launching the world’s longest route on a 777 from Dubai to Auckland, 17-plus hours in any class apart from first on the carrier would fill a passenger with dread.
Emirates is well known for their A380 creature comforts (see our trip report) in business class and first class, including showers and walk-up bar, but the 777 experience isn’t currently offering the same bells and whistles that Jennifer Aniston would lead us to believe.
Currently Emirates 777 fleet is showing its age. Business class seats are angle lie-flat seats, and are situated in a 2 x 3 x 2 configuration, similar to the configuration found in Turkish Airlines 777 fleet.
Details are currently scarce on the new Emirates business class seating, but the fact that the seats will remain in a 2 x 3 x 2 configuration has led to much speculation on the seat type. We know that it will offer passengers fully flat beds, and from the recent press release, there is a hint of BA First design sensibilities at play.
“The design and shape of Emirates’ new Business Class seat was inspired by the interior of a modern sports car, captured in the diamond stitch pattern of a light grey full leather cover, ergonomically designed headrest, and its sleek overall look and feel. Designed with enhanced customer comfort in mind, the new seat has a pitch of 72 inches and can be electrically moved into a fully flat sleeping position at 180 degrees.”
Here at TheDesignAir, we believe the 2 x 3 x 2 seating will still allow all passengers to have aisle access, due to the fact the seats will offer a minibar for passengers, similar to the seats found on the A380. “Retaining many of the most popular features of the current Business Class seat on Emirates’ Boeing 777s, the updated seat layout and additional amenities feature a conveniently located mini-bar, one of the industry’s largest personal TV screens at 23 inches, and the latest touchscreen controller for the seat and award-winning ice inflight entertainment system.”
Knowing that the seats will be BE Aerospace products, we feel Emirates is going to adopt a variation of the Apex suites, matching the concept found on JAL’s 777s, with slightly staggered seats, all with aisle access, and privacy found through the partitions between the seats. The staggered nature will also allow for small spaces for mini-bars to be installed.
But it’s not just Emirates that is working hard to keep themselves at the leading edge of product offerings. Australian Business Traveller also announced in an interview that Qatar Airways will be launching their own ‘super business class’ product featuring sliding doors for privacy, and the ability for two seats to be turned into a double bed. This will help the airline align its product, as Qatar’s 777s with their 2 x 2 x 2 seating configuration doesn’t match the space found on their 787 and A350 all-aisle access suites.
Although this product is slated to come out at the end of the year, so for now, it seems Emirates has got to the party early. We will keep you posted on the details when the seats are unveiled next week!
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