Full Details: Emirates’ Stunning New First Class Suite

The wait is finally over! In 2015 Emirates first revealed that they were planning on introducing a new first class suite, and they just shared the full details of it today at the Dubai Airshow. Let’s look at what we know so far about Emirates’ new first class suite.

Details of Emirates’ new 777 first class

Emirates’ new 777 first class suites have floor to ceiling sliding doors with design features that are inspired by the Mercedes Benz S-Class. The collaboration includes Mercedes-inspired soft leather seating, high-tech control panels, and mood lighting. Each suite offers up to 40 square feet of personal space, and the cabin is in a 1-1-1 configuration, compared to the previous 1-2-1 configuration (meaning that there there will be just six first class suites, rather than the current eight).

To start, here’s a promotional video for the new first class cabin:

Here’s what Tim Clark, Emirates’ president, has to say about the new first class suite:

“Emirates pioneered the First Class private suite concept back in 2003, and today it’s the industry benchmark when it comes to first class travel. Over the years we have continually improved on our private suites, adding thoughtful refinements and features. We are very excited about our new fully-enclosed suite which is a real game-changer in terms of privacy, comfort, and thoughtful luxury. This is the first time an Emirates product has been so influenced by another luxury brand, but it is a natural fit as both Emirates and Mercedes-Benz have the same unwavering commitment to fine detail, uncompromising quality, and a drive to push the boundaries.”

Here are some pictures of Emirates’ new 777 first class:

Here are some of the highlights of the design features of the new 777 first class:

  • Rather than the blingy finishes that Emirates has in their old first class, the new suite has a color palette of soft greys, cream, and champagne, which conveys a “contemporary, open, and airy feel, with quiet and timeless luxury”
  • The seat can be placed into a “zero-gravity” position inspired by NASA… I’ll have to test that one out myself
  • The suite is truly fully enclosed with floor-to-ceiling walls and doors, so passengers can change in the comfort of their own suite
  • For passengers in the center seats, Emirates is introducing virtual windows that will project the view from outside the aircraft using real time camera technology; in the window suites, binoculars will be available for passengers who want to look outside
  • The suite features a video call function for communicating with cabin crew (don’t worry, you can choose just to make an audio call, as this is optional), and each suite also features a service window where customers can be served drinks and canapés undisturbed
  • Each suite has a 32-inch personal television with 2,500 channels of on-demand entertainment, and each suite now also features Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones
  • Each suite has an “inspiration kit,” featuring a luxury Byredo skincare collection, Hydra Active moisturizing pajamas, and Bulgari amenity kits
  • As part of the collaboration between Emirates and Mercedes-Benz, Emirates’ complimentary chauffeur service in the UAE will feature a fleet of S-Class vehicles to get passengers to and from the airport

The HUGE issue with Emirates’ new first class

Emirates’ new first class looks great, but the major issue is that as of now Emirates only has plans to install the product on at most nine Boeing 777-300ERs by the end of 2019. Emirates wants to install the new product on the A380, but doesn’t have a timeline for doing so, so we have no clue if or when that’s really happening. They also don’t have firm plans to retrofit their existing 777 fleet with this product.

In many ways that makes this new product a gimmick, since as of now Emirates has committed to installing the new seats on less than 4% of their fleet in the next two years. I find that to be pretty disappointing.

Emirates does have 150 777-8s and 777-9s on order and will take delivery of those starting in 2020. Those will definitely feature a new first class product, which may be modified even further.

Which routes will have Emirates’ new first class?

The first two 777-300ERs featuring Emirates’ new first class will be in service as of December 1, 2017, flying to Brussels and Geneva.

As of now Emirates seems to be blocking first class award availability on flights featuring the new cabins, though at least they’re not charging a fare premium for flying the product.

What do I make of Emirates’ new 777 first class?

It’s breathtakingly stunning. While the new suites will be larger than the previous ones, they’re not actually going to be that huge. However, I can’t help but feel like Emirates has done a fabulous job with all of the little details of the new suite. Emirates’ new first class suite looks so well thought out and inviting, and it looks like space is used well.

From the floor-to-ceiling doors and walls, to the curtains by the windows, to the mood lighting and temperature control, to the binoculars, this looks to me like the most elegant cabin in the sky. In many ways it’s evolution rather than revolution, because they’re sticking with the same general type of suite they had before. But they’re making some substantial improvements to it, and the finished product looks excellent.

One major downside of the new product is that it doesn’t seem ideal if you’re traveling with someone. There’s no option to combine two suites into a larger suite, and there’s not even really an option to sit next to someone. Furthermore, there’s no buddy seat that allows you to dine face-to-face.

How does this compare to Singapore’s new A380 Suites?

Emirates is only the second airline this month to introduce a new first class product. Earlier this month Singapore revealed their new A380 Suites.

Singapore’s new Suites is more spacious. Each Singapore A380 Suite is roughly 50 square feet, while each Emirates 777 first class suite is roughly 40 square feet.

While there’s no denying that Singapore’s new Suites product is a greater evolution and looks amazing, I have some practical issues with the design. They’re installing a separate bed and seat, but the bed folds up and doesn’t have a real mattress, which seems like such a lost opportunity. Meanwhile while it’s nice to have a separate seat and bed, I can’t say that the seat looks all that comfortable, at least in comparison to some of the other first class seats out there.

The advantage of the Singapore A380 Suites product is that it’s great if you’re traveling with someone, as you can create a double bed, which is something that Emirates doesn’t have.

So while Singapore’s A380 Suites are more impressive on the surface, I can’t necessarily say that it impresses me more than Emirates’ new first class, which seems so well thought out.

Bottom line

Emirates did a stunning job with their new 777 first class. This looks like such an elegant and well thought out product, and I can’t wait to fly it myself.

I do have a few issues, though — Emirates doesn’t have immediate plans to install this product on their A380s, and they only plan to have this product on at most nine 777s in the next two years, so this will be a bit of a gimmick, as less than 4% of their fleet will feature this product two years from now. Furthermore, this doesn’t look ideal if you’re traveling with someone.

In many ways it’s still a toss-up between Emirates first class on the A380 and 777 — the A380 has the advantage of the shower and bar (both of which I love), while the 777 has the better seats.

What do you make of Emirates’ new first class?

Comments

  1. A great product!! Emirates has also ordered 40 B787-10s. Hope the 787s will feature this amazing product too.

  2. It seems to me that this may be a proof of concept for the new 777s and 787s. Put it in a limited amount of 777 and actively collect feedback where you can on them, and then adjust the product for the 777/787s to come.

    I’m not sure of how cabin dimensions compare though, and am curious how much tighter it would be on the 787 or much space would need filled or go to waste on the 380.

  3. well, they did say it would be more like a private train compartment, and it’s almost that. They could have got rid of the vanity and had a sofa that converts into a bed

  4. With Emirates ordering 40 787-10 and launching new first class suites in the 777 looks like it’s the end of the A380.

    The 787-10 is a long range plane which covers the distances that the A380 can and at a lower cost.

    If Emirates wanted to continue with the A380 they would have launched this new suites simultaneously on it as well. Since they have another 40 odd A380’s on order to be delivered.

    Looks like they would just get done with the existing A380 orders and concentrate on the 787 and 777x for the future.

  5. This is an improvement over the current suite, but the level of taste and quality of design is still disappointing. Sq has missed on interior design and lack of a lush feeling to it. Emirates has missed on versatility, integreted design features and 21st century taste and styling. I wish airlines would look more at the quality of design on airlines such as LX and AF.

  6. @SS
    There are rumors* of Emirates ordering up to 35 A380s in the coming days so I don’t think the A380 is over for them. They also mentioned that the new First Class will also be installed on some A380s as well. Finally, Emirates don’t often make use of the full range of the A380 because the main purpose of the plane for the airline is capacity, which the 787-10 doesn’t come close to. so range isn’t the issue, capacity is. I think its cheaper to operate 1 A380 rather than 2 787s on a specific route.
    * not necessarily rumors more almost certainty

  7. The added privacy is cool, and the suites look gorgeous. SQ is more spacious but looks boring; this is very stylish. The virtual windows are incredibly cool!!!

    I think SQ’s new product is more of a step up than this is.

  8. I like this one a bit better than the one SQ revealed.
    But judging from the pics – I like AF F-class (new) slightly better or is it just me?

  9. Does this mean you can leave the window shades up anytime instead of having to close it? Same with the center suite keeping the window TV on.

  10. Compared to Etihad and Singapore, I’m not very impressed. Factor in the 777 aspect and it’s another story.

    I hope Emirates makes sure to make that distinction – and that they will do a little more with their A380.

    Design-wise I’m really happy we’re moving on from American/Middle Eastern maximalism (that’s the nicest way I can put it) and on to something a touch more European-looking.

  11. After the debut of both the Singapore Airlines F suite and Emirates F suite this month, I think Etihad F Apartments are still the best design.

  12. Does anyone think this looks EY-esque?

    I think the geometric patterns throughout the cabin as well we the color tones look way more Etihad-subdued than Emirates-bling. Maybe that’s the point, but it removes some of the differentiation.

  13. The more I look at this, the more I don’t like it. Having your feet under a stupid shelf when you sleep is, well, stupid, and you’ll end up hurting yourself. The shelf is massive, and makes the TV look further away. The suites are too narrow, and no seat/otoman for friends is ridiculous. There should be a separate bed, ’cause you’re sleeping in the same seat as when you’re sat having dinner or watching TV. All that heat and sweat will feel horrible when you’re trying to sleep.

    Singapore’s new first is better in terms of space, but has no privacy. If Emirates combined the Singapore suites with their privacy and colour scheme, it would’ve been so much better

  14. This looks like it was designed by and for the clientele that shops at Laura Ashley or Saks. It’s so…frilly. SQ may have gone the “too sterile” route, but these look like train compartments for little old ladies. Not a fan at all…except for the individual heating/cooling. That’s awesome.

  15. @lucky well thought out? Although over the top private, when traveling with someone, Emirates falls flat on their face. That’s a huge issue. Singapore’s product is clearly better thought out.

  16. So, refreshed First, Business and Economy Classes. No mention of Premium Economy which was slated for 2018. Perhaps it is no longer required?

  17. Jeff, it is, but you can see into the compartments when you walk past. It needed to be a mix of both tbh.

    Adil, their business class is worse than before, 2-3-2 is awful, and it’s ugly

  18. I agree with somedude, I still think Etihad has the best design and the most effective use of space too. The concept of the new EK F is good but not the best when travelling with a companion. Love the private temperature control and not having to worry about closing window shades though.

  19. @n:

    I know, but they don’t have to be LOL train compartments. They could be sleek, updated, stylish train compartments. For my tastes, they only got the train compartment aspect correct. Different strokes for different folks. I just won’t be going outta my way to try these. They seem dated or retro but in a tacky, Grandma’s House sorta way.

  20. The shelf works with the service window connected to the exterior — sort of like a hatch for a meal tray on a prison door. The window defeats the privacy concept EK was going for. Poor design decision.

    At least EK has a seat that allows for a generous recline and lounging. SQ has missed that yet again (and will offer a cheap-looking recliner that reminds me of hospital furniture — easy to wipe down!). Also, curtains in the EK suite? Those are going to get filthy quickly.

    I agree that both EK and SQ have failed with the aesthetics of their redesigns — EK still tacky (let’s stick a pattern on every surface!), SQ still sterile. Would take EY and AF any day.

    EK’s business class refresh is hideous.

  21. Wow, that rate of deployment is really discouraging. I’d do like how they took cues from Mercedes. Touches like adding curtains and a proper closet is nice.

  22. *SIA of course.
    however i just watched sam chuis video on YT, and im taking back my statement.
    minibar should stay where its located now, no bed option, table looks really flimsy…. the only possitive is full height enclosure and pretty decent visual design.

    combine emirates with singapore and you have maybe the best first class.
    but right now its etihad.

  23. Suite doors that actually go to the ceiling. I wonder why it took so long for an airline to do this.

  24. “Emirates does have 150 777-8s and 777-9s on order and will take delivery of those starting in 2020.” I don’t think so Ben. They ordered 40 787-10s but no other Dreamliners.

  25. Ok so I’m too stupid too read :). Of course they have 150 777 on order. My eyes apparently can’t tell an 8 from a 7.

  26. lucky, I think you missed the most important detail…temperature control! (and a pretty slick looking one at that if it works) Could it be the first foreign airline not to cook it’s first class passengers alive? 😉

  27. In the risk of coming across as vulgar, I must say I kinda miss the emirates bling.
    Branding wise it is immiditely recognisable, which I have to respect.
    What’s more important, being an outsider to the jet set, for me first class is all about this over the top feeling. Emirates does over the top better than anyone.
    I just saw a video review of the new suite, and while very impressive, it is still very beige to me.
    But then again, what do I know.

  28. DEFINITELY better than Singapore’s new awkward first class suite.

    Will you be flying Dec 1 with them Lucky?

  29. I like the new SQ’s first class better than this…more space, separate seat, less bling, nicer colours…I would still choose EK’s A380 F over this for its great bar and a shower. What I do like in the new 777’s F, apart from floor-to-ceiling walls, is the hatch built into the wall of a suite – no need for the doors to be opened when your food is ready to be served

  30. I hate all this suites business that airlines are introducing. I like a bit of privacy, of course, but I don’t want to be cut off from the rest of humanity. For me, one of the great pleasures of flying is the communal act of doing so and the shared experience with other passengers, annoying as some of them may be!

  31. SQ’s all the way. This looks almost like the current suite just with the walls up. I’m already overwhelmed just looking at the pictures. Aesthetically speaking, there are WAY too many things going on at once. SQ’s might be sterile but it’s very elegant and timeless, in my opinion. It’s also very Asian as I think they tend to prefer subdued colours over bright, obnoxious colours. I agree that SQ could give a little bit more decoration or something that truly sets it apart; but the official version is good enough to beat this in my book.

  32. Wonder if you get binoculars in the center compartment/seat – will give you a close encounter with the tail-fin cam on the IFE

  33. Perhaps one day Emirates and Etihad will stop chasing each other’s tails with gimmicky product found only on limited routes and misleading advertising to their target customers. When they do, they should fly Lufthansa out of or thru Frankfurt and learn what a real first class EXPERIENCE is like. Fancy suites are nothing compared a hassle free, german efficient, ground experience.

  34. Looks like I am flying it on dec 4th.. actually not so happy because not flying alone… the double seat in center was always nice… I was hoping they would make a new double suite with no wall inbetween….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *