Emirates enters First Class battle with private suites replacing seats
THE airline battle for big spenders has intensified, with Emirates launching what it claims to be “game-changing” First Class – with design inspired by a car maker.
President Tim Clark showcased the new design of the Boeing 777 jets on the opening day of the Dubai Air Show. After pouring millions into the upgrade on the uber-luxury category at a time when many airlines are dispensing of the class altogether, the airline revealed fully enclosed private suites with a sleek design, hardwood floors, personal light and temperature control, and designer amenity kits.
The design concept of the upgrade is inspired by the design philosophy Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The collaboration inspired several design details in the private suite including the soft leather seating, high-tech control panels, and mood lighting.
“Emirates pioneered the First Class private suite concept back in 2003, and today it’s the industry benchmark when it comes to first-class travel,” Clark said.
“We are very excited about our new fully-enclosed suite which is a real game-changer in terms of privacy, comfort, and thoughtful luxury.”
They certainly haven’t skimped on the luxury. The First Class seats themselves promise a “zero gravity” function that is said to be inspired by Nasa technology.
Rather than pressing the call button to summon a member of cabin crew, the passenger can use a video link to order food and drink, which is then served through a hatch.
In an industry first, the airline is introducing virtual windows for suites located in the middle aisle. To ensure all First Class customers have a view, these virtual windows project the view from outside the aircraft using real-time camera technology. In those suites with a window, binoculars are provided for anyone who wants to explore the scenery down below.
Bulgari amenity kits provide the designer touch for when you need to freshen up before landing. The airline teamed up with the luxury Italian brand to provide kit bags complete with Bulgari fragrances and lotions.
They also throw in a leather notebook and pen for you to jot down any thoughts or stories as you travel – quaintly labelled the “inspiration kit.”
The reveal has been years in the making, with the airline announcing plans of the upgrade back in 2015. Earlier this month, Singapore Airlines similarly unveiled its own upgraded First Class cabin complete with double beds and a double bathroom with sit-down vanity counter.