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EMIRATES: Refit of Boeing 777s starts today.

EMIRATES: Refit of Boeing 777s starts today.

Emirates has announced the initial destinations for its 81 refitted Boeing 777s. The retrofitted planes will eliminate the centre seat in business class, bringing the fleet up to speed with current expectations in Business Class and adding Premium Economy to the aircraft.

Seat configuration

Each aircraft will take about two weeks to reconfigure. The first-class cabins will be refurbished. Emirates 777 Business Class cabins will have a reduced number of seats down from 42 to 38. But the configuration will be changed from the dreaded 2-3-2 to the industry standard of 1-2-1. Gone is the awful middle seat.

Cabins will gain a Premium Economy section of 24 seats and 256 in Economy Class

an airplane flying in the sky
Emirates Boeing 777, scheduled for refurbishment. [Emirates]

What we do know about the cabin interiors

Other than those details, Emirates is surprisingly coy about the configuration of the cabins.

Converting Business Class from 2-3-2 to 1-2-1 suggests to me that Emirates is moving from front-facing straight-ahead seats to something more like reverse herringbone or, at the very least, a staggered seat. Am I wrong?

We know they are working with seat manufacturer Safran, so predictions are it will be a customised version of the company’s ‘Unity‘ design.

The total number of seats in the 777s is 326, down from 354. I expect Emirates hopes to make up the revenue difference from the seat reduction and the smaller Business cabin from the newly installed Premium Economy section.

Emirates has not released the precise configuration of some cabins, but it is reasonably safe to assume it will look like this:

  • 8 First Class suites, configured 1-2-1
  • 38 Business Class seats, configured 1-2-1 (confirmed)
  • 24 premium economy seats, configured 2-4-2
  • 256 economy seats, configured 3-4-3
a woman standing in a plane
The Emirates Premium Economy 2020 [Emirates]

Emirates has released a lot of detail about the Business Class cabins, although they are holding off on releasing the product for the moment.

It will have seats 52.5cm (20.7″) wide with up to a 112cm (44″) pitch. The staggered configuration gives all aisle access. The IFE and seat operation will be controlled by a touch-screen seat controller. The HD screen will be 58.5 cm (23″). The personal mini-bar will be reprised. We are also promised adequate storage and charging outlets, plus a bar.

Launch routes

The first upgraded Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft will be operated on the following routes:

  • EK83/84 Dubai-Geneva from 11 August
  • EK312/313 Dubai-Tokyo Haneda from 1 September
  • EK183/184 Dubai-Brussels from 11 September
a table with plates of food and glasses of water
Caviar service in First Class on Emirates 2023 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Emirates is refurbishing most of its fleet, so after a bit of chaos where they will be juggling different configurations, they should soon have something sporting the new ‘champagne’ leather look across cabins and across the fleet of A380s, Bosing 777s and Airbus A350s.

That middle-seated Business Class was letting them down on the triple 7s, so it’s good to see it go.

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