Emirates to use only flat business class seats from Australia

By John Walton, October 24 2011
Emirates to use only flat business class seats from Australia

Emirates' business class passengers can stop double-checking timetables to see which business class is on their flight -- all but one of the airline's ten daily Australian flights are now on a Boeing 777 with lie-flat seats (and that lone flight is on an Airbus A380, so either way you win).

You'll see a greater consistency and a lie-flat angled seat in business class on all those 777 flights, whether to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney.

That means no more old-style recliners, now that the last older 777s (used on Melbourne-Kuala Lumpur-Dubai flights EK408 and EK409) are refitted. Emirates promises that only new seats will be seen from 31 October.

The only Australia return flight that's not on a 777 is Sydney-Dubai flight EK413/EK412, which will keep its Airbus A380 -- and that's a better proposition than the 777.

If you're travelling in first class, too, you'll see an increase in consistency: Emirates' swanky First Class Suites will now be found on all flights, whether A380 or 777.

So what do those seats look like?

On board the 777, you'll find an angled lie-flat seat. That means that it stretches flat, but doesn't lie parallel to the floor. There's still some tilt there, so make sure you're not wearing smooth or slippery fabrics or they'll tend to either bunch up or slide down.

(If you're new to this type of seat, check out our detailed article explaining how "lie-flat" can sometimes be a lie.)

The seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, which is more cramped than the A380, where everyone has direct access to the aisle and nobody needs to clamber over their neighbour:

The A380 has a better seat, which goes fully flat parallel to the floor, has more legroom, a side table to spread out on, plenty of storage areas and comes with its own little soft drink minibar.

You'll also find the business class bar at the very back of the A380's upper deck, and it's one of our favourite business class bars.

All that makes the EK413/EK412 Sydney-Dubai return flight on the A380 the one to pick if you can, since other Sydney flights are on 777s.

And if you happen to be up in the very pointy end the 777 or the front of the upper deck on the A380, you'll find Emirates' First Class suites. 

You'll find the award-winning ice digital widescreen entertainment system (seen above on a 777) on board both the A380 and the 777.

In-the-air reviews and seat tips

We've reviewed both business class seats -- from Auckland to Sydney on the A380 and from Auckland to Melbourne on the 777.

If you're planning flights and picking where to sit, we've also got recommendations for the best seats on the plane:

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 580

"All but one in 70 Australian flights" -- more like 7 in 70 Australian fights ;)

Great news though, I remember being seriously unimpressed walking through the plane to Y in 2007 and seeing recliners for such a long flight (SYD-BKK-DXB). Now they need to magically make those angled beds fully flats...

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 666

Thanks for the catch there! You win the Maths prize. ;)

I've often said that Emirates is a three-strand airline in business: A380 is great, 777 and other lie-flats are okay, and recliners are disappointing. It'd be great to see those A380 seats on the 777s...

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