Over the last few months, Emirates has been busy refreshing the look of its fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft and has just unveiled the first plane to feature the new look. The airline has spent $150 million USD on refurbishing the 10 aircraft in its fleet, with a more spacious Business Class cabin taking centre stage.
The updated Business Class cabin will, for the first time, feature seats in a roomier 2-2-2 configuration – although, of course, that means the airline is still not offering direct aisle access for every passenger.
Retaining the same shape and design as Emirates’ Business Class seats on its much larger fleet of 777-300 aircraft, the new product will offer 2 extra inches of width, with 72 inches of pitch in a fully flat product.
The airline has harmonised the design with its latest signature product design which was first unveiled at the Dubai Air Show last year. Business Class seats have been finished in a champagne colour with a diamond stitch design on the upholstery and a darker tone of wood.
The rest of the cabin has also been refreshed with Economy Class seats reupholstered in the latest colour palette of soft greys and blues. The Ghaf tree emblem (considered to be the national tree of the UAE) will also feature across different services within the cabin.
The redesign is certainly a big improvement on the interiors which used to feature on Emirates’ 777-200’s although premium passengers may remain disappointed that the new product still doesn’t offer direct aisle access for every passenger – now considered a must-have.
Rather bizarrely, Emirates has also included what it calls a ‘social area’ between a two row ‘mini cabin’ and the main Business Class cabin. It appears Emirates has repurposed what looks like a trolley stowage area, removing a bulkhead between the two cabins because of passenger feedback which suggested customers in the mini cabin felt ignored.
This isn’t an onboard lounge like what features on the airline’s A380’s – instead, Emirates describes it as a “mini lounge area” which “features snacks such as crisps, sandwiches and fruit, as well as beverages for customers to help themselves to during the flight.”
Without any kind of divider or curtain this social area could certainly prove problematic for passengers hoping for some privacy or quiet time. It will also be interesting to see how Emirates manages the movement or noisy trollies through the cabin.
Elsewhere, however, Emirates has certainly upped the passenger experience. All 10 aircraft will feature both WiFi and live television, along with 3,000 channels of on-demand entertainment on the airline’s award-winning IFE.
The first refurbished 777-200 will go into service on 6th March operating between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale. The remaining aircraft will enter service over the next 12-months.