Emirates plans luxurious new first class suites for its Airbus A380s, along with bathrooms and shower spa suites, in what airline CEO Sir Tim Clark describes as a "transformation of the cabin."
Clark has previously confirmed the suites will be the same as the Mercedes-Benz inspired cribs of its Boeing 777-300ERs, with the superjumbo's first class cabin trimmed from a current count of 14 suites in a 1-2-1 layout to just 11, with today's three pairs of middle suites dropped for single suites in a 1-1-1 footprint.
However, while the first aircraft in a massive US$16 billion order for 36 new superjumbos are due to arrive from 2020 the suites won't debut until 2021.
Speaking with FlightGlobal at this week's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Clark described the suite's installation as "quite difficult" and requiring extensive certification for the A380, which will result in a slight lag from when the first of the factory-fresh superjumbos join the Emirates fleet.
Clark is also undecided as to refits of the new suites to older A380s, describing the project – which could cost "US$30 million for aircraft, maybe more" - as a considerable challenge, "if we do it."