Arguably already the best bar and lounge to grace the skies, Emirates has just announced refreshed and even better onboard bar and lounge for its iconic A380. The airline first teased the enhanced lounge area in a social media post on Wednesday afternoon.
Although Emirates didn’t give too much away the airline did let this slip: “Say hello to a refreshed Emirates @Airbus A380 onboard experience tomorrow #EmiratesA380Lounge”. Referencing the current Emirates motto – Hello Tomorrow – and their famous onboard lounge within the hashtag.
The new onboard lounge and bar will be officially unveiled to the public at the ITB Berlin tradeshow in March before going into operational service in July. The bigger and better lounge will feature additional seating for up to 8 passengers, tables and a total capacity for up to 26 passengers.
Emirates first introduced the bar and accompanying lounge on its first Airbus A380 aircraft which went into service in August 2008. Emirates, the world’s largest operator of A380’s, now has 93 of the superjumbo’s in its fleet with another 49 on order. Passengers flying in Business or First Class to over 46 destinations now have access to the ever-popular onboard lounge.
The lounge was designed by Pierrejean Design Studios and further developed by airline interiors specialist, AIM Altitude. It took 20 designers to develop the nine individual elements that make up the Emirates onboard lounge.
John Heath, the developers Technical Director said of the work: “AIM Aviation engaged 20 designers on the development of the onboard lounge. They worked on the physical design, the qualification of materials and the testing of the product to ensure it was fit for purpose. The resulting business class lounge provides a unique social experience and is now instantly recognisable as part of the Emirates brand.”
In a recent interview, the President of Emirates, Tim Clark spoke about the struggles he had in convincing designers and managers to install the lounge: “People said, ‘No, nobody will use it.’ I said, ‘You’re telling me that nobody will want to get up and stretch their legs on a 16-hour flight?’ [They said,] ‘they’ll never use the bar. It’s waste of space.”
Proving the naysayers wrong, Clark has said of the onboard lounge: “That bar is the talk of the industry. It’s the talk of the consumers. People meet. We’ve had marriages, divorces, whatever it is, in that bar. People go out of the way to meet again on that thing. It’s a been a huge selling point for us.”
Emirates only allows specially trained cabin crew to work in their onboard lounge. However, don’t think you’ll find any mixologist flight attendants on your next trip. The A380 might be big but space is still limited. Airline managers have developed clever ways to serve up the classic and most popular cocktails at 35,000 feet. It’s said that the Cosmopolitan, Martini and Mojito are three most popular requested cocktails onboard.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.