Emirates President Sir Tim Clark says demand for first class remains strong
Emirates airline unveiled a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class-inspired interiors for its Boeing 777 aircraft, including new 40-square feet first class private suites.
The new first class cabins on Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are 84 inches long, with sliding doors that reach up to six feet and nine inches high, with floor to ceiling windows and a 32-inch high-definition screen.
Additionally, private suites in the middle of the cabin come equipped with “virtual windows” which project the view from outside in real-time, offering guests a view that Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said “looks better” than it would looking through the naked eye.
Speaking to reporters at the Dubai Airshow, Clark said the refurbished interiors are the beginning of a new relationship between Emirates and Mercedes Benz.
“I’ve personally always been a fan of automative and the way they have managed to use space in a manner that simply continues to excel and excite the consumers,” he said.
“Some of the design cues we took were on the seat, on the lighting and on the leather.”
The refurbished aircraft are backed by a new ad campaign featuring Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson, whom Clark called “impactful” and “an authority in automotive presentation.”
Clark noted that despite a global downturn, demand for first class remains “very strong” on Emirates flights.
“There is a view that many carriers are pursuing what they can see as the response to the demise of first class by coming up with some better business class products, premium class products,” he said. “[But] it’s something that is core to what we do. First class remains core to Emirates does.”
While the refurbished 777 aircraft will initially operates on Emirates routes to Brussels and Geneva, Clark said that their use would expand significantly in the future.
“As we get more, they will appear on quite a few long haul operations, for instance Chicago, possibly Brisbane, possibly Perth,” he said.
“We’d love to get them around the route network as best we can to publicise what we’re doing.”
Eventually, the refurbished first class cabins will be “ubiquitous” on Emirates aircraft.
Emirates also announced that business class seats on the new 777 aircraft are also being modified, and are inspired by the interior of a modern sports car, while economy class seats will have full leather headrests and flexible side panels that can be adjusted vertically.
Clark added that similar modifications to Emirates A380 aircraft are “a work in progress”.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft, with 165 777s in the fleet and another 164 on order, including the latest generation Boeing 777x.