Late last week Emirates took delivery of its 96th Airbus A380 – the new aircraft features the airline’s revamped on board bar and lounge. The delivery marked nine years since the Dubai-based airline received its first double decker A380 from European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus. The aircraft went into service today on the Dubai to Kuala Lumpur route – again marking the ninth anniversary of Emirates A380 operations.
The legendary onboard lounge has become synonymous with Emirates’ award-winning service and the new look is set to take the levels of luxury up a notch yet again. Said to be inspired by private yacht cabins, the airline claims the new lounge “features a more intimate and social area” for passengers to relax and mingle.
News of the improved lounge was first released in February and then shown to the public at industry trade show, ITB Berlin. Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates said of the improved design: “In our latest revamp, we have taken inspiration from private yacht cabins, and amongst other thoughtful touches, we have increased the seating space, and also made it more intimate and conducive for our passengers to socialise or enjoy our lounge service.”
The enhancements include:
- More seating – can now comfortably accommodate 26 guests with 8 seated.
- Lighter champagne colours, accented by a glossy dark wood trim.
- Soundproof curtains.
- Soft ambient lighting options.
- New window blinds with integrated LED mood lighting.
- Subwoofers for surround sound.
- a 55-inch LCD television screen with live programming.
But what’s the point of having an on board lounge if you can’t get a good drink and bar snack? Luckily, Emirates has that covered – the airline now has 6,000 business class crew trained as mixologists – able to create 14 different cocktails at 40,000 feet including the airline’s signature Bloody Mary. Also on offer are Hennessy XO Cognac and Chivas Regal 18-year-old Scotch whisky.
For those lucky enough to travel in Emirates Business or First Class there’s no chance of going hungry should you feel peckish midflight. There are 18 different bar snacks available – the most popular is said to be the smoked salmon bagels and fresh fruit skewers.
The airline now operates its A380 to 48 destinations with Sao Paulo, Casablanca and Nice joining the network this year. However, not all is good news for the Emirates A380. Airline execs were forced to postpone the delivery of 12 aircraft over the next two years – Allegedly because of unspecified problems with the Rolls Royce engines that are due to be used.
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.