Emirates considers all-new Boeing 777 business class

The Gulf airline mulls an end to the middle seat on the Boeing 777 fleet, while also ramping up its premium economy roll-out.

By David Flynn, November 16 2021
Emirates considers all-new Boeing 777 business class

Emirates is assessing an all-new business class design for its Boeing 777 fleet – with a modern 1-2-1 layout – which could flow into the airline's forthcoming 777X jets along with being retrofitted to current Boeing 777-300ERs.

The Gulf carrier is the world's largest backer of the popular Boeing twin-jets, with 124 of the best-selling 777-300ER, alongside ten of the longer-legged 777-200LRs, and a staggering 115-strong order for the delayed Boeing 777-9, with deliveries likely from 2024.

Speaking at the Dubai Air Show 2021 today, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark confirmed "we are also considering a brand new business class product. More details will be revealed in due course."

The airline described the next-generation Emirates 777 business class as offering "customised seats in a 1-2-1 layout", compared to the 2-2-2 and often 2-3-2 configuration in Emirates' current Boeing 777 fleet.

Clark has previously said that for the Boeing 777-9s "there will be a new business class seat, which is basically the same as we have on the A380."

Emirates' Airbus A380 business class.
Emirates' Airbus A380 business class.

The 777-9s will also sport a small self-serve snack and social area in the middle of the business class cabin, while being crowned with six "fully-enclosed" first class suites of the same design as the latest Boeing 777-300ERs.

Premium economy push

Emirates is also getting busy adding its new premium economy seat to over a hundred jets, to capitalise on expected high levels of post-pandemic demand for the 'better than economy' cabin.

As previously reported, passengers looking to upgrade from the standard economy experience will find themselves cradled in this more spacious seat with a pitch of "up to 40 inches" compared to the 32-34 inches of economy. 

Emirates' premium economy cabin.
Emirates' premium economy cabin.

Emirates' premium economy seats are also a little wider than their economy counterparts – 19.5 inches compared to 18 inches – and arranged in a 2-4-2 layout rather than the more crowded 3-4-3 rows of economy.

Clad in cream-coloured anti-stain leather with stitching details and a wood panel finishing, each seat also includes a 13.3 inch video HD touchscreen, complemented by AC/USB power outlets, a wide dining table and a side cocktail table.

And while flatbeds remain the domain of business class, the 8 inches of recline and a generous leg-rest which swings up at the front of the seat should help travellers get from A to B with plenty of Zzz.

"It's probably where business class used to be, and in some cases where first used to be in the old days, 30 years ago," Clark told Executive Traveller when the seat was first launched, describing it as akin to a railway-style ‘sleeperette’.

Emirates' premium economy seat.
Emirates' premium economy seat.

52 of Emirates' flagship Airbus A380s and 53 Boeing 777s will be upgraded with the premium economy seats from the end of 2022 through to mid-2024.

The A380s will continue to see 56 premium economy seats installed at the front of the main deck, while the Boeing 777s will see the first five rows of economy (behind business class) replaced by four rows of premium economy, with 24 seats in the same 2-4-2 configuration as on the superjumbos.

Clark says that passengers on the six A380s already sporting premium economy " have been amazed by the quality and comfort" of the seat, resulting in "a hugely positive response."

"We intend to further develop our premium economy into a distinctive Emirates experience that is unmatched in the industry."

Waking up to the fact that 2-3-2 is not cutting it in 2021?

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 407

Long overdue, be interesting to see if this is actually the same 1-2-1 seat which Emirates planned for the 777-9 and will be rolling it out early on upgraded 777-300s.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 341

About time Emirates.. I mean 2-3-2 NEVER ever will I fly that!! And some aren’t even lay flat, but recliners.. yuk 

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