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Dubai Airshow: First-class unveiling from Emirates

Posted 13 November 2017 · Add Comment

Emirates Airline unveiled its eagerly anticipated new first-class product at the show yesterday, capping a four-year development project.

The new first-class cabin will appear initially on the remaining examples of Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER order, with eight or nine in service by the end of 2019.

The cabin design will then transition to the new Boeing 777X that the carrier has on order for delivery from 2020.

Emirates’ president, Sir Tim Clark, said that installing the new cabin in the airline’s Airbus A380s was “a work in progress” and was “a formidable undertaking”.

The new cabin on the 777-300ER will have six, completely enclosed, first class suites in a 1-1-1 configuration, compared to eight seats as at present. The centre suites, which would normally not have an outside view, will be equipped with virtual windows on to which will be projected high-definition images of the outside world from cameras mounted on the aircraft.

Many of the design ideas came from Mercedes-Benz, with Rockwell Collins manufacturing much of the hardware. The new cabin’s colour palette will be a mix of soft greys, cream and champagne. Combined with a new ceiling that Clark described as “cathedral-like”, the aim is to maximise a light, airy feel.

The new suites will each have up to 40sqft of space and a full-height sliding door. Passengers will be able to communicate with cabin crew through a video screen and food or drinks can be delivered through a small hatch, if the passenger wants maximum privacy. They will have a 32in high-definition television and Emirates’ already vast in-flight entertainment system will have its capacity doubled.

Replying to comments from journalists that many airlines were removing their first-class cabins, Clark replied: “Demand for first-class on Emirates…remains very strong.” Ticket prices for the new first-class suites would not be increased: “We may simply be discounting less.”

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