Emirates Adds New First Class To More Routes

A bit over a year ago Emirates introduced their new first class on the 777-300ER, which is the best first class product in the world, as far as I’m concerned.

The bad news is that Emirates only has a total of nine 777-300ERs featuring their new first class, and they don’t have any immediate plans to reconfigure existing planes (either 777s or A380s) with these seats. In my opinion that sort of makes the product a gimmick, since only a few percent of their fleet features these cabins.

Emirates routes with the new first class

As of now, Emirates’ nine 777-300ERs with the new first class are operating select frequencies on the following routes (this is highly subject to change, and you may also find these planes sometimes operating other routes):

  • EK33/34 between Dubai and London Stansted
  • EK43/44 between Dubai and Frankfurt
  • EK89/90 and EK83/84 between Dubai and Geneva
  • EK183/184 and EK181/182 between Dubai and Brussels
  • EK59/60 between Dubai and Hamburg
  • EK312/313 between Dubai and Tokyo Haneda

I wish we’d see Emirates operate these planes on some ultra long haul routes, where the benefits of these new cabins would be most valuable. However, I also get that this would limit even more the number of people who get to try the new first class.

Emirates is adding the new first class to Riyadh and Kuwait City

Last week Emirates added more routes with the new first class, though they’re really short ones. Emirates will begin offering their new first class on select routes within the Gulf:

  • Emirates will offer their new first class between Dubai and Riyadh as of April 16, 2019, on the EK819/820 frequency; this will initially operate 5x weekly, and as of June 1, 2019, will operate daily
  • Emirates will offer their new first class between Dubai and Kuwait City as of June 1, 2019, on the EK855/856 frequency; this will operate daily

Getting this product on an hour-long flight is of course a treat, but at the same time these routes truly aren’t long enough to enjoy this amazing seat. Then again, I imagine Emirates is simply better utilizing aircraft here.

A lot of their 777-300ERs currently sit on the ground in Dubai for hours between rotations to Europe, so I imagine they’re simply utilizing these planes when they’d otherwise be on the ground.

Emirates will offer the new first class to the Maldives

This week Emirates has announced yet another route that will feature their new first class. Emirates will begin offering their new first class between Dubai and Male as of June 1, 2019.

Emirates has multiple daily frequencies to the Maldives, though it’s the following frequency that will feature the new first class daily:

EK658 Dubai to Male departing 4:20AM arriving 9:30AM
EK659 Male to Dubai departing 11:00AM arriving 2:00PM

How to redeem miles for Emirates’ new first class

If you want to redeem miles for Emirates’ new first class, your best bet is to still book within a couple of days of departure. The airline doesn’t release first class awards for their new product in advance, but they do as the departure date approaches.

Bottom line

It seems like Emirates is able to add more new routes with their new first class simply by better utilizing their nine aircraft with these seats.

The Maldives is an interesting choice for these new suites. Perhaps the only downside to the new first class suites is that there’s no way to sit or dine with a companion, and the Maldives is a destination where a lot of people are traveling with a companion.

At the same time, the Maldives also has a lot of high end tourism, so I imagine there will be some people willing to shell out for this great product.

Comments

  1. Emirates will be offering the new First class suite on the DXB-IAH (Houston) route during the Dubai runway closure period. It’s flying on all the odd numbered days (17, 19, 21, etc.) during this period. Doesn’t look like much award space though, but maybe closer in?

  2. I wouldn’t say better utilization just yet. There is a reason you don’t see 77W on a very short flight that often. It’s hard to fill a plane that big to make profit. I say EI is testing whether it can make profit or not.

    Second concern is will this truely be a full F experience or just the F lite.

  3. @Eskimo apart from the -200LR, which they only have a few of, the 777-300ER is the smallest aircraft in Emirates’ fleet. They routinely fill 77Ws on flights that short. In fact I believe even the A380s are operated on some routes between 1 and 2 hours long, so the question really isn’t whether they’ll be able to fill the plane on flights to Riyadh and Kuwait City – pretty much the highest-demand Gulf destinations they serve – but whether the flight makes a profit even with 100% loadfactor.

  4. Isn’t this good new as now anyone can experience Emirates new first classmate for $1000 or less on a paid ticket from CMB to either RUH or KWI

  5. @Lucky: Emirates will offer their new first class between Dubai and Riyadh as of April 16, 2019, on the EK819/820 frequency; this will initially operate 5x weekly, and as of June 1, 2019, will operate daily Emirates will offer their new first class between Dubai and Kuwait City as of June 1, 2019, on the EK855/856 frequency; this will operate daily

    It’s party time lesser royals and 777 pilots on leave, until the oil runs out.

  6. If there are any questions about profitability on the RUH,KWI routes – have a check on weekend ticket prices 🙂

  7. Since most of their flights are long haul, it may make sense with regards to increase cycles with flights that are low on hours to level out the maintenance schedule.

  8. Actually, I flew EK404 to Singapore 2 weeks ago and it featured the product (I was in coach but clearly saw that the Business and First had the new product).

    Also, if I am not mistaken, either ADL or MEL have the product on a 772LR.

    Therefore I am surprised by your article. Anyhow I am flying it in two days so I don’t care 😉

  9. I don’t get the Stansted route..? I was also thinking the same about the Maldives with most people travelling with a companion. Oh well, better some than none.

  10. I actually think this type of product is great for longhaul flights (7-11 hours). For me, I’d much rather be on an Emirates A380 for ultra-longhauls where I can go have a shower or go to the bar area to walk/socialize/pass the time.

  11. I had this product on a recent flight from Cape town to Dubai. Wrote enthusiastic reports to friends. Had not flown Emirates for years and I thought it was the new 777 standard,

  12. A quick check on QF awards do not show these listed flights at all. Maybe deeper digging is needed, but it would not surprise m in the least if QF has been excluded from offering these awards. Qantas, always a follower, never a leader. Should be their motto…

  13. I booked 4/21 Dubai-Houston first class award a while ago originally with A380. Few days earlier before the flight, I just learned it changed to 777-300er and afterward I also learned It’s a new aircraft, new first class. So I don’t complain the aircraft change since usually award tickets are not shown on new 777-300er aircrafts particularly for ultra long haul. I thought it’s a plus before the flight. However, After the flight, yes it’s really new and big, but not too impressive, considering it doesn’t have shower and bar for 16 hours flight which is minus. (Someone already explained why Houston uses new 777-300er)

  14. I booked 4/21 Dubai to Houston originally with A380. Few days before my flight, I learned it has been changed to 777-300er and afterward I also learned its new first class suite confit new aircraft. I didn’t complain and also think it’s a plus particularly usually award tickets are not shown on this kind of ultra long haul. However, yes it’s new and spacious, but nothing else too impressive. And no shower and bar is actually a minus for 16 hours flight. This new 777-300er first class honestly is not like what Emirates advertising “game changers” (someone previously explained why and how Houston route used the new 777-300er)

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