The market for long-haul premium passengers is hotly contested. Particularly in Business Class, airlines are putting their best foot forward to attract and retain high-spending travellers. For Emirates though, its Boeing 777 Business Class isn’t usually a favourite with travellers, given the seven-across layout that brings a middle seat to every row. But that’s set to change.

Emirates will soon begin installing new Business Class seats across 81 of its Boeing 777 aircraft. Rather than that less-than-desirable 2-3-2 layout, the new cabin comes in a 1-2-1 configuration. That means direct aisle access from every seat – already a staple of Business Class on the Emirates Airbus A380.

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Emirates’ new Boeing 777 Business Class

Emirates is yet to reveal images of its new Boeing 777 Business Class cabin. But it does describe them as being ‘all new Business Class seats’. We’re not expecting to see an inflight bar and lounge aboard the refitted Boeing 777 jets. But frequent flyers are sure to love the absence of a middle seat. And, of course, window views without having to step over somebody to access the aisle.

The installation of all-new Business Class seats comes as part of a broader fleet revamp at Emirates. The same Boeing 777s will also be fitted with Premium Economy seats, along with a refreshed First Class cabin. Currently, Premium Economy is only available on selected Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft. Currently, the count is 22 superjumbos sporting Premium Economy Seats. Emirates plans to roll this out to 110 Airbus A380s in total – meaning 191 aircraft with the seats, when complete.

We’re topping up our multi-billion-dollar investment in the retrofit programme to introduce cutting-edge cabin products on more of our A380s and Boeing 777s, demonstrating a clear commitment to elevating the customer experience with a best-in-class suite of products across every cabin. The addition of more aircraft fitted with our newest generation seats, updated cabin finishings and a contemporary colour palette also marks a significant step in ensuring more customers can consistently experience our premium products across both aircraft types.

– Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, May 2024

As for the Boeing 777, refurbishments will begin in July 2024. It’ll take around two weeks to refit each aircraft. Naturally, this is a multi-year project for Emirates, so it’ll take some time before those dreaded middle seats are gone for good. After being refitted, the updated Boeing 777s will offer 332 seats in total. This includes eight First Class suites, 40 Business Class seats, 24 seats in Premium Economy and 260 standard Economy Class seats.

What’s next for Emirates

Beyond refitting its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleets, Emirates is also preparing for a new plane to join its ranks. That’s the Airbus A350, which Emirates expects to begin flying in September 2024.

An initial batch of 10 Airbus A350s are currently earmarked to serve destinations within a short-to-moderate distance of Dubai. On Emirates’ roster is Bahrain – which gets the inaugural Emirates Airbus A350 flight on 15 September. After that, services expand to Kuwait, Muscat, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Colombo, Lyon, Bolognia and Edinburgh.

The airline has 65 total Airbus A350-900s on order and hints that the cabin configuration may differ on later aircraft deliveries. But for now, the first 10 A350s will sport 32 seats in Business Class, 21 seats in Premium Economy and 259 seats in Economy Class. But on these first 10 Airbus A350s, at least, First Class will be absent.

Emirates will also resume flights between Adelaide and Dubai later this year. From 28 October 2024, the airline will offer daily return service aboard a Boeing 777-300ER. Emirates has previously tipped Point Hacks that the Adelaide-Dubai route would be ideal for the Airbus A350. But as to when that might happen – or indeed, more detail about the seats aboard those first 10 Airbus A350s – is yet to be announced.

Also read: Emirates debuts its renovated lounge at Brisbane Airport

Featured image and embedded video courtesy of Emirates.

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Emirates brings Airbus A380 comfort to Boeing 777 fleet was last modified: May 8th, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin