Emirates is well liked for many things, mainly for their extravagant on board showers which have been reviewed countless times by aviation bloggers around the world. It’s on my bucket list to be able to take a shower at 40,000 feet up in the air.
What they’re not really well liked for however, is their paltry business class hard product on their Boeing 777 suite of aircraft. Granted it’s still a lie-flat seat but it’s laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration. Which means if you struck the lottery and obtained a middle seat in the middle cluster, you’ll have to pick whose legs you want to climb over. Even with the introduction of their new Boeing 777-300ER cabin products, they still stuck with a 2-3-2 layout in business.
Boeing 777-200LR receives some love
Back in November 2017, Emirates announced that their Boeing 777-300ER fleet was set to receive an exclusive makeover with the new business class products. However, Emirates still flies a small fleet of Boeing 777-200LR aircraft which makes appearances on several long haul routes and they were still sporting the old business class product laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Just this afternoon (well morning in the UAE), Emirates announced that their Boeing 777-200LR fleet would also be getting a makeover and they are introducing new business class seats, this time in a 2-2-2 configuration. Granted it’s still not a 1-2-1 layout, but hey anything is better than that 2-3-2 layout. If you’re seated in the middle, you’ll receive direct aisle access as you wouldn’t need to climb over anyone. With business class going from 2-3-2 to a 2-2-2 layout, Emirates says that this had led to a 2 inch increase in seat width across the business class cabin, making it just a tad more comfortable. Note that as before, these are lie-flat seats as well.
Over on the IFE side of things, Emirates has increased the screen size to 23 inches. For comparison, Singapore Airlines new business class seat has the IFE screen coming in at only 18 inches. For those of you who says size doesn’t matter, it clearly does to Emirates.
In addition, Emirates has removed the overhead lockers in the middle aisle thus making the cabin a more spacious look. Overhead storage space should still be plenty for everyone in the business cabin even with the removal of the middle ones.
They’re also introducing a “social area” in between the business class cabins, similar to what Qatar is currently offering on their A350 aircraft. Granted it’s not as fantastic as their insane on board bar at the back of the A380, it’s still interesting to see Emirates do something with that space although it just looks like a more classy snack bar. I’d imagine not many people will socialize in this area as you’ll definitely be making awkward eye contact with the people sitting behind the snack bar.
Back in economy class, Emirates has also updated the colour scheme and material of the seats but the seat itself remains the same and is still laid out in a 3-4-3 configuration. The seats look incredibly tight and I personally wouldn’t want to spend more than 7 hours in those seats given my size.
Fort Lauderdale set to receive new products starting 6 March 2018
Emirates will be flying their newly configured Boeing 777-200LR to Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA on 6 March 2018 (that’s tomorrow!). So this announcement really comes as a surprise to many flyers. I’d imagine those who were grumbling at the prospect of being stuck in the middle seat would now heave a sigh of relief. The next routes to receive the newly configured Boeing 777-200LR aircraft are still not yet known but Emirates has pointed out that Santiago, their newest destination, would be seeing the Boeing 777-200LR in the future.
We probably won’t see the reconfigured Boeing 777-200LR being introduced on the Singapore – Dubai leg though as they prefer to use their A380s and the Boeing 777-300ERs on this route.
The new business class seats on their new Boeing 777-200LR look amazing compared to what they had previously. With the overhead lockers removed in the middle, it creates a further sense of space in the cabin. Also, it looks less claustrophobic now with the 2-2-2 layout and I’d imagine demand for the middle pair of seats would go up given that it allows for direct aisle access.