Emirates' new Airbus A380 first class suites due 2021

By David Flynn, April 12 2018
Emirates' new Airbus A380 first class suites due 2021

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."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

05 May 2016

Total posts 624

This is interesting news. Disappointing that the number of seats is reducing but not very surprising.

So if an aircraft originally scheduled for a flight has to be swapped out there could be downgrades if 14 seats are all allocated and there’s only 11 seats on the plane swapped in.


20 Sep 2012

Total posts 76

They're rarely full anyway - so not a major issue.

MarkJohnSon Banned
MarkJohnSon Banned

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 87

As an aside, by god, Sir Tim Clark is an absolute baller. The slickest man in aviation.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 55

Worse that Qatar’s..Al Baker???

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 134

chap, "baller" is usually a very positive connotation. So this would imply that he is better than Al Baker. Swag.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 55

I took baller as “ball breaker”

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 275

Incredibly disappointing, Emirates will certainly be left behind in the First Class segment (I don't believe I've ever seen such a slow rollout from any other airline). However, frankly speaking - to the average First Class flyer, if they already like and use Emirates, they're going to continue to do so - regardless of this news or not.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 361

Slow roll out? Have a look at anything Qantas does and then you will see what a slow roll out looks like.

Aegean Airlines - Miles & Bonus

17 Sep 2017

Total posts 17

Emirates’ current first class on the A380 is already industry-leading, and the justification for the slow rollout of their new first class is understandable.

05 Dec 2013

Total posts 36

I just wanted to clarify, does the comment 'which could cost "US$30 million for aircraft, maybe more"' mean US$30 million per aircraft?


03 May 2013

Total posts 669

Qantas and A J take note....this is first class...not your business plus you call 'first' product which fades woefully in comparison. Shouldnt be surprised when you thought your new business suites were a "mini first class" - clearly you have no idea.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

05 Jun 2017

Total posts 28

Q/AJ have had no idea for a very long time. Any airline that could treat customers so badly deserves to disappear. The EK/QF alliance lowers the tone for Emirates


07 Jan 2011

Total posts 53

We've deleted some comments in this thread as they were off topic. If you wish, you can start a thread in our forums.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 168

Keeping on topic... I'm just home from a long global trip and was a mix of First/Business. Got to be honest and say the First product from Etihad stills wins me over from Emirates - by some margin. I find the EK DXB First Lounge to be less salubrious than EY First Lounge. In flight? same for the cabin crew, sorry to say. All this said, hard to complain up front. But, Emirates does want to continue to see itself as 'the one'.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

05 May 2018

Total posts 1

I have big respect of Sir Tim Clark!

I mean Emirates win the first class product and the good service they give passengers.
I love the A 380 First class, maybe I'am to old, bit I like the fancy things in First class suite.
And I'am looking forward the the new suites, when they come in 2021 in he new A 380.
I will order ticket to try them.
Keep going on Sir Tim Clark and the rest of the Emirates Team.....

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