Emirates will refresh its Boeing 777 business class seats from 2018, but this minor facelift won't mean dropping the oft-criticised 2-3-2 layout and its inconvenient middle seat.
The move – revealed alongside the launch of new Boeing 777 first class suites – comes barely 18 months after the Gulf airline and Qantas partner unveilled new-look Boeing 777 lie-flat business class seats (below) in March 2016.
The changes appear to be exceptionally subtle, however, and intended to give the seats a slightly more consistent look against those first class suites which Emirates says were inspired by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class series.
For example, there's a different woodgrain pattern on the privacy dividers between the seats as well as around those massive 23-inch HD video screens (which can be overwhelming because your seatmate's screen remains well inside your own field of vision).
Emirates also tells us the revamped seat includes a slimline USB-C port – as used on an increasing number of smartphones and laptops – alongside the conventional USB-A jack, so that's definitely a nod to the tech-toting business traveller.
Overall the refresh certainly doesn't draw down that 'business class bling' factor, as passengers still face acres of that familiar faux woodgrain-effect plastic wrapped around the seats.
Clark described the 2018 refresh as "the last makeover of this generation of seat” for Emirates’ Boeing 777.