Emirates just dropped the curtains from its much anticipated new first-class suites and the Mercedes Benz-inspired business class on Tuesday. The airline unveiled its floor-to-ceiling fully enclosed first-class suites en-flight at the Dubai Air Show 2017 recently. The airline gave a preview of what was in store for passengers who would fly in the new Boeing 777-300ERs that will be equipped with the new suites. Each aircraft will have six suites in a 1-1-1 configuration. This is a change from the 1-2-1 configuration it currently employs for its first-class cabins.
Each suite will have a 40 square feet space and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors to provide complete privacy to the passenger. The new uber luxury suites have been designed and created in partnership with Boeing. Details of the interiors have been created along with major seat manufacturers Rockwell Collins, electronics leaders Panasonic, Jacques Pierre Jean Design Studio as well Teague, an industrial design team from Seattle.
The inspiration has been drawn from the Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury sedan. According to Emirates, “its latest First Class product gives a nod to the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz, bringing together two global brands renowned for luxury, innovation, and comfort.”
“Several design details in Emirates latest game-changing First Class product were inspired by Mercedes-Benz, including the soft leather seating and stitching, high-tech touch screen control panels, and the mood lighting within the suite. Meticulous attention to detail is evident throughout,” the airline says.
The cabin, just like the S-Class, is adorned in palette of champagne, cream and light pastels. The seats are NASA technology inspired. They can be oriented in a particular fashion typically called the “zero-gravity” position. This is aimed at providing a feeling of weightlessness and a unique form of relaxation.
Suites en-flight will have binoculars for enjoying the sights from windows. Though, the passengers on the suites along the centre of the aircraft will have their suite equipped with virtual windows that will project real time video of the view from outside the plane recorded by cameras attached to the exterior of the aircraft.
Passengers will not need to open their cabins for service requests. They can place service requests with the cabin crew and also call for the dine-on-demand service via video call. The suites are also equipped with private service windows through which the cabin crew can serve drinks and small plates without disturbing the privacy of the passenger.
The ‘guest’ will be able to view 2,500 channels of entertainment as well as stream multimedia off their own devices on the private 32-inch HD LCD screen television. British premium audio equipment manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins has created Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones tailor-made for flying on Emirates. Each passenger will receive a new headphone upon boarding. The headphones are crafted especially for achieving the best sound quality in an aircraft cabin. Minibars and snacks will be laid out beforehand for frequent fliers along with wireless tablets that control the seat and entertainment systems.
The luxury doesn’t end at interiors and gadgets alone. The airline provides Hydra Active moisturising pyjamass to first class passengers. Hydra Active fabric incorporates micro-encapsulations that continuously release nutrients to combat dry air and its harsh effects on the skin. This fabric has known to significantly increase the comfort and relaxation experience of users. The Hydra Active pyjamas will be provided as part of an inspiration kit to all first class fliers. These kits will also include Bvlgari amenity kits, Byredo fragrance and other skincare products.
Furthermore, the Mercedes connection goes beyond flying and extends to the ground too. Passengers arriving at or departing from the UAE will be provided chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz S-class luxury sedans for commute.
Besides, the business class seats and economy class seats come in a new avatar as well. The business class cabin configuration is the same as before on all Emirates’ 777s ie 2-3-2. The business class cabin will have a lie flat seat leather seating with a pitch of 72 inches. These cabins will also have personal minibars.
The business class also gets a refreshed look and not a complete revamp. Business class fliers will be provided touchscreen controls for seat positioning, in-flight entertainment as well as personal cabin lighting. It has privacy panels, a footrest and a shoe stowage compartment.
The Economy Class has also been touched up in a new gray-blue palette colour scheme. These seats will be arranged in a 3-4-3 configuration and will have larger entertainment screens. Extra features include leather adjustable leather headrests.
Passengers will not have to wait long to experience the luxury of these new suites and other classes. The airline plans to roll them out to customers from December 1 on the Dubai-Brussels and Dubai-Geneva route. Rollout on other routes is yet to be announced.
The new suites are only expected on the Boeing 777s for the near future and the airline’s 777 fleet that includes 165 aircraft flies to six continents and over 140 cities from its hub at Dubai International Airport. It has further 164 777s on firm order which will include 150 of the new Boeing 777x aircraft. There are no plans announced as of now to put the suites on the Airbus A380 jumbo jets as well. However, the airline has considered the option of reducing first class suites on A380s from 14 to 11.