Emirates Is Eliminating First Class On Some 777s

Filed Under: Emirates

Just a couple of days ago Emirates revealed their new 777 first class, which will be in service within the next few weeks.

Emirates’ new 777 first class

While the suites look incredible, the one thing I found disappointing is the speed at which Emirates is rolling out the new cabins. By the end of 2019 they expect to have them on at most nine planes, and they have no firm timeline with which they plan on reconfiguring the rest of their 777 or A380 fleets.

For most people this will be a bit of a gimmick, and they’ll find themselves in Emirates’ “old” first class product, which is still very nice.

Emirates’ current 777 first class

Even more disappointing is that Emirates’ new 777s with these incredible first class suites will feature Emirates’ same disappointing business class, with seven seats per row.

Emirates’ new 777 business class

Well, it looks like Emirates is making some changes to part of their 777 fleet, which impacts both first and business class.

FlightGlobal reports that Emirates is eliminating first class on their 10 Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, which are used for some of their longest flights. This is according to Emirates’ president, Tim Clark, who said this on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow. Specifically:

  • Emirates’ 777-200LRs will go from having 266 seats to having 302 seats
  • Emirates’ 777-200LR business class will go from having seven seats per row to having six seats per row, so they’ll be eliminating the middle seat

Emirates’ current 777 business class

Emirates’ 777-200LRs presently feature eight first class suites, 42 business class seats, and 216 economy seats. So while I can see the logic of them eliminating first class on these planes, the part of the story that really surprises me is that they’re going for a six abreast layout in business class.

Even Emirates’ new 777 business class cabins feature seven seats per row, so it seems strange for them to change that configuration as part of a retrofit. Presumably they won’t introduce a new seat (or else they wouldn’t have six seats per row), so will they just make the aisles significantly wider, or…? I’m certainly not complaining about them eliminating the middle seat, I just find it strange.

Are you surprised to see Emirates cut first class from their 777-200LRs?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. Maybe they’ll use a refreshed/modified version of their A380 business class. I could see that working out well in 2-2-2, some carriers already have something similar in 2-2-1/1-2-2 alternating on some of their wider aircraft…

  2. Perhaps just like TG. Their 772s have 2-2-2 and 773s have 2-3-2, but width of the seat for both is quite identical. Instead, the former have spacious aisles which can be a bit of waste.

  3. Could be that they know they wouldn’t be able to fill all the seats in business class so they would rather save the weight; after all they do use the 777LRs on some very long flights. Maybe in anticipation of a second non-stop New Zealand flight?

  4. With the 777LRs flying 17 hour flights, there might be a combination of both weight, commercial and comfort considerations here. Who would want to pay for a middle seat in business class for a 17 hour flight? Which increases the chances of it being left unsold and just adding to to the fuel bill as each seat in business class is heavy.

  5. Sorry, that should be *A380 cabins. We just won a gay marriage plebiscite here in Australia. I’m a bit distracted!

  6. 2Paxfly – if people were interested in the opinion of someone who’s never flown EK and doesn’t know the difference between a 777 and an A380 then they’d go directly to your blog.

    The fact you have to piggy back traffic says it all.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *