Emirates hints at design of new A380 first class suites

By David Flynn, March 1 2017
Emirates hints at design of new A380 first class suites

Emirates' all-new first class suites for its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 flagships remain under lock and key, but the Gulf powerhouse has already offered several hints at what the luxe cribs will look like.

"Private luxury yachts" is the first clue, and it's expected to be the north star of Emirates' design vision for the swish second-gen suites.

Emirates CEO Tim Clark has previously referenced "a private bedroom on a luxury yacht" for the new-look suites, which are expected to take to the skies in late 2017.

Clark returned to that motiff last week in revealing Emirates' new A380 inflight bar (below), saying "we have taken inspiration from private yacht cabins."

It's fair to expect that the revamped bar will share some design DNA with the new first class suites.

So in the same way that bar has swapped its dark palette of brown faux 'burled walnut' and brass trim...

... to a lighter, contemporary colour scheme of ivory and (appropriately) champagne, with far more subtle metal and woodgrain accents...

... it's not a stretch to imagine a similar sophisticated transformation for suites at the pointy end of the A380 and the Boeing 777-300ER.

Consider this PR shot of today's Emirates A380 first class suite...

... then 'de-bling' it in the same way as Emirates has done to the A380 bar, with softer tones and finishes to open it up.

You can bank on modern touches such as ambient LED lighting, shown here in detail from the A380 bar.

(Also like the styled-up superjumbo bar and Boeing 777-300ER business class seats, Emirates' 2017 first class suites are expected to be restricted to brand new jets headed from factory to hangar while the existing fleet will make do with the original suites design.)

Emirates' second design reference for the new suites is that of a "private railway cabin", which harkens back to a different era of luxury travel but still has relevance today.

British Airways channeled the same spirit for its current first class cabins:

The long panoramic windows are the most obvious nod to the grand days of rail – even though they're just a visual conceit, with the blinds opening to reveal your standard oval-shaped aircraft window.

As Emirates' new A380 lounge will sport "window blinds with integrated LED mood lighting", that same tech-forward touch is almost a cert for the first class suites.


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.

27 May 2015

Total posts 23

The new inflight bar looks good - certainly a tasteful rejig of the old, somewhat tacky design elements. Looking forward to seeing this ethos carry through to the business and first cabins. 


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jul 2016

Total posts 57

Can't wait. Emirates First Class is a bargain for hopping across the Tasman even if there's no time try the bed. It's a shame chauffeur drive isn't offered on this sector (or even pyjamas as a souvenir), but I guess every 'bargain' has its limitations!

You don't use the bed on this journey? I was thinking about trying it out but just for the lounge, shower and a lay down.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 Mar 2015

Total posts 52

Hoorah, less Gold Taps and Bling! Etihad currently get my vote for good taste, but their suites don't have nearly enough room for personal things and totally useless makeup, toiletries area. Look forward to the 'New' Emirates


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1488

Yea, you bound to see tons of plastic wood. Somehow they believe that this is "luxiry"

16 Dec 2016

Total posts 49

Hilarious that you have squeezed ANOTHER non-story out of this coming announcement.  It is all speculation until the release.  As for the bar, it may be toned down but it is still OTT Emiratee design with little taste. 

Emirates: world's largest airline, Qantas partner, one of the best A380 first suites in the world, also known for not having a great design ethos. Plenty of reasons so many people are interested in what Emirates does with its new suites and I think it's very insightful of AusBT to draw these connections between the new A380 bar, which I think looks very classy indeed, and what is happening in first class. Look at old bar pic and new bar pic. When Emirates goes public with its new suites I think you'll be able to look at old suite pic and new suite pic and see exactly that same evolution of the design.

Anyone know why SYD to AKL first class was $960 last week and now $1349 ? Is it normally $1349 or has there been a massive price increase?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Apr 2013

Total posts 146

There had been a sale which finished last week.


03 May 2013

Total posts 668

Qantas A380 F is a boring drab atmosphere. The F lavs and bar are a joke compared to EK's. I hope QF maintain the great 1-1-1  config which really only needs some sophisticated tones (by way of cabin decor makover) but does up the 'bar' and the lavs.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 40

Codeshare first class Gods- pretty, please ... ensure I DON'T end up on a Qantas flight home when transitting through Dubai after being on Emirates First class. 

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

22 Apr 2017

Total posts 5

Alex, the only mistake you made was taking a code share flight. Qantas F is shabby in comparison to EK. Couldn't agree more with your sentiment

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