Some Updates On Emirates’ New First Class Routes

Filed Under: Emirates

In mid-November, Emirates revealed the details of their new first class, which is initially only available on newly delivered 777-300ER aircraft. Rather disappointingly we shouldn’t expect this to be available on many planes anytime soon — by the end of 2019, they’ll have the new product on at most nine 777-300ER aircraft.

The new first class debuted December 1, 2017. Initially the cabins were available on EK183/184 between Dubai and Brussels, as well as EK83/84 between Dubai and Geneva. It’s worth noting that Emirates’ new first class is now also available on the second daily flight between Dubai and Geneva, which is EK89/90. So both daily flights to Geneva feature Emirates’ new first class, while only one daily flight to Brussels features the new first class.

Emirates doesn’t yet have plans to put the new first class on any true longhaul routes, which is a shame, since I feel like the new product would be much more beneficial on a 14 hour flight. The next destination scheduled to feature the new first class is London Stansted, and that route launches in June 2018. With so few frames having the new first class, it’s not surprising that they’re keeping the cabins on shorter routes, so that more people can experience them.

I’m scheduled to fly Emirates’ new first class in just over a week, and am very much looking forward to it. I’ve been monitoring the seatmaps on the route like a hawk, and it looks like there’s some cause to be concerned if you’re scheduled to fly Emirates’ new first class. As of now only two planes have the new first class, and it looks like Emirates is starting to take the 777 off some Brussels flights last minute.

For example, in looking at seatmaps, the Dubai to Brussels flights for January 2 & 3 don’t show the new first class, but rather are back to the old first class cabin. You can tell because the new first class has six seats, while the old first class has eight seats.

It looks like the cause of this is that Emirates’ two planes with the new cabins aren’t enough to operate the three roundtrip flights they have it scheduled on. The good news is that Emirates’ newest 777-300ER, A6-EQJ, just flew from Everett to Dubai yesterday, and that should feature the new cabins. I’m not sure how long it takes from the day the plane is delivered till it’s actually in service, but hopefully it’ll be flying within a few days, and all three flights will feature the new cabins.

In the meantime I find it a bit puzzling that Emirates is taking the new cabins off the Brussels route and putting them on the second Geneva flight, even though they advertised Brussels as the launch destination, and never promised the new first class on that second daily Geneva flight.

Hopefully none of you are impacted by these plane swaps, but I figured it was worth a post, given that some of us are going out of our way to get on these flights.

(Tip of the hat to Scott)

  1. My trip was just messed up by this.
    I was flying Jan 3-Jan 10.
    As of yesterday both switched to the old seat map. Today, the 3rd still shows the old map but the 10th is back to the new map. I called EK reservations and asked to change to GVA and they said my agency has to make the request through their sales support. They can’t do it on an agency issued ticket. Of course, being a holiday weekend, they are closed. I’m surprised Emirates reservations can’t help on a paid first class ticket. It’s not an OTA but a traditional one. Do you think it’s worth calling reservations again?
    The add collect is huge because I bought a much cheaper A fare through BRU than was ever offered via GVA.

  2. I, for one, vote Emirates instate the new first class product on the DXB-Milan route as a token of appreciation for readers of this blog.

  3. Being Geneva based, the only airline people fly from here is Emirates. They dominate the market with their double daily 777s vs a Qatar A350 and an Etihad A330. The rich population of Geneva will pay anything to fly Emirates first and I think Emirates wants to make sure they have their best product on display. The flight always seems to have good load factors, especially in premium cabins.

  4. Geneva is a high revenue point for the premium products. That’s why it’s flying there twice a day. More revenue. Less freeloaders. The individual who said Emirates res is closed on weekends is hard to believe. If the 800 number or local res number is closed you could try calling the Dubai number. It never closes. You might have to pay some long distance fee but if you’re buying a first class ticket it shouldn’t be a concern. All airlines usually won’t touch agency or 3rd party bookings. I discovered this 8 years ago flying first class on EK from SYD to AKL . They finally relented and changed the flight but I had to talk to a supervisor to do it. I suspect they do it for first if pushed. For biz I don’t know but I suspect they would do it if the ticket is more than 4 figures or you have high staus. But you still probably have to speak to a supervisor.

  5. I second @Max – GVA is a very strong premium destination for EK, so I’m not surprised at all that they deploy the new F to the second daily flight to offer a consistent experience. QR upgraded from A333 to 788 to now A359 in GVA, and EY is upgrading from A333 to 789 end of March. Apart from Beijing there are no direct flights to Asian destinations, so no price competition with SQ, TG, CX and others as well.

  6. Is it possible the new seat maps are not even published yet? I checked some GVA-DXB flights on the Emirates webpage and they also show the old seat map. I also checked the seat maps on the B777-300 page of the website and only the old seat maps are published.

  7. Are there any updates about this? any word about when will Emirates deploy these on true long haul? I’m saving up Qantas points and want to spend it on the new Emirates first class, but would rather do it to US or Aust…

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