Emirates' Boeing 777X will have new business class seats, but no bar

No more middle seats and direct aisle access for every passenger, promises Emirates CEO.

By David Flynn, September 27 2019

Emirates will standardise its new Boeing 777-9 and 777-8 fleet around a new business class seat based on that of its flagship Airbus A380s, with the cabin flanked by fully-enclosed first class suites and the airline's all-new premium economy seat.

However, travellers shouldn't expect even a cut-down version of Emirates' iconic Airbus A380 cocktail bar.

"There will be a new business class seat, which is basically the same as we have on the A380," Emirates CEO Sir Tim Clark confirms in an interview on the airline's own ICE entertainment system this month.

Emirates' Airbus A380 business class will migrate to the Boeing 777X.

That seat adopts a now-standard 1-2-1 layout to ensure that every passenger has direct access to the aisle, compared to the 2-2-2 and often 2-3-2 configuration in Emirates' current Boeing 777 business class fleet.

The 2-2-2 and often 2-3-2 of today's Emirates Boeing 777s will be a thing of the past.

The well-appointed business class seat also incorporates its own personal mini-bar and will boast what Clark describes as a "spectacular" inflight entertainment system.

Emirates is promising a "spectacular" inflight entertainment system for its Boeing 777X jets.

Clark adds that while the Emirates' Boeing 777X jets won't have a bar, "there will be a small comfort area in the middle of the business class cabin" – potentially along the same lines as the stand-up space of the airlines' revamped Boeing 777-200ERs, which includes a small self-service nook for snacks and drinks.

The social area on Emirates' upgraded Boeing 777-200ERs.

As expected, the pointy end of Emirates' Boeing 777-9s will have six "fully-enclosed" first class suites, using the same design as on the latest Boeing 777-300ERs – including two suites in the middle of the floor boasting 'virtual windows' with signals fed by video cameras showing an external view from the aircraft.

"They've proved to be hugely popular and successful," Clark says of the new first class suites.

Emirates Boeing 777X first class suite.

ET photo tour: Up close with Emirates' all-new luxury first class suite

Emirates' Boeing 777-9s will also mark the debut of an all-new premium economy seat, which will be located in its own "exclusive cabin", Clark says, along with an upgraded food and drink menu.

Clark has previously told Executive Traveller that the seat chosen by the airline will fully cradle the legs and feet, coupled with a 10 inch recline to become a railway-style ‘sleeperette’, with around 38 inches of pitch (up to 6 inches more than economy) and a seat count "more likely around the high 20s, 26-28 seats."

"We have already spec’d out premium economy in terms of the seat and product," Clark says.

Is this Emirates' new premium economy seat?

There has been speculation that the seat will be the new Eclipse design (shown above) from seatmaker HAECO, given that the company has said the Eclipse will launch will see "an as yet unnamed Middle East-based airline... begin flying with the seats in 2020."

Eclipse is aimed at the premium economy or short-rage business class market, and adopts a unique staggered layout to make it easier for passengers in window or middle seats to step past their neighbours.

HAECO's Eclipse seat has a unique staggered layout for greater passenger privacy

Read more: Here's everything you need to know about Emirates premium economy

As to when Clark will pick up the keys to the airline's first Boeing 777-9, that remains in flux.

"It is contracted to come to us in mid-2020", Clark qualifies, although Boeing's own delays in launching the next-generation jetliner seem likely to push that back to the later half of 2020.

Asked at a media briefing in Dubai last week  about the planes being delivered on time in June 2020, Clark replied “I would strongly suggest that it won’t."

David

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.

GregXL

GregXL

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 398

I can see how the staggering of PE seats provides improved privacy, but how does it make it easier to access the aisle? Looking at that photo where the window seat is forward of the aisle seat, there is less space with a direct line to the aisle than there would be in a normal seat pair.

Michael Kao

Michael Kao

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 338

Even if they adopt the staggered business class seats from A380, that's 10 years too late. Their rival QR had been using reverse herringbone (which IMO a better product than staggered) for a while now and is introducing much better Q-suite into their 777 fleets. Staggered seats are used by SQ now as a regional product only. EY has staggered seats as standard long haul product in their wide bodies and has superior “business studio” on their 787 and A380. NH is upgrading their staggered seats to fully enclosed “the room”......etc etc.

Therefore I don't see how EK can choose a product that is almost outdated by many other airlines for something that's likely to be introduced in the next 5 years.

Mikana

Mikana

UA

09 Mar 2016

Total posts 27

Agree with Michael Kao that reverse herringbone is better than staggered, if only because it always seems to provide a better sleeping position. The prob with NH The Room is that like the 2007 SQ business seat, you have to lie diagonally to get the full length of the footwell.

bl812

bl812

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 178

yeah 10 years late in the making-what an inferior product it is-stopped flying with them for that reason-although the first class was and is a gem!Qatar is the real winner as far as business class concerned-service quality and all comfort light years ahead-

worldwanderer

worldwanderer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 71

I note a few typos in that article?

bl812

bl812

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 178

should that be your biggest concern???

worldwanderer

worldwanderer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 71

I don't recall stating it was my biggest concern, please show me where?

We all have our different views and in my eyes, in journalism, accuracy in all respects enhances credibility.

worldwanderer

worldwanderer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 71

Interesting that you would make an assumption that is not contained within the post.

Interesting that it seems that you feel posts containing opinion, conjecture and assumptions about the content of the article have more relevance than an actual factual posting.

We all come from different backgrounds, however mine included reading articles in their entirety, using other reference sources and considering the content and overall accuracy. Overall accuracy in all respects is often an indicator of the review process and time taken to construct the article and its overall credibility.

andyf

andyf

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 116

Will anyone really miss the bar? I don't get the value proposition for the airlines that have gone with a bar setup ... surely better used for extra seating, or perhaps more/larger toilet space?

Anyway, about time they upgraded their 777 product business class product.

Not sure however I will trust the 777-9 for the first few years given Boeing's track record of late, with the 787 battery issues and then the 737-Max debacle.


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