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Emirates confirms two-class Airbus A380, drops first class suites

By David Flynn     Filed under: emirates, Airbus A380

Emirates Airline will drop its prestigious first class suites from some Airbus A380s as the airline moves to a two-class version of the superjumbo.

The redesigned A380s will carry 615 passengers across its business and economy cabins – an increase of 126 passengers from Emirates' original A380 configuration fitted with 399 economy seats, and up 98 from a later config which boasted 427 economy seats.

All 14 private first class suites in Emirates' flagship A380 will be dropped, along with the two showers reserved for passengers at the pointy end.

Review: Emirates Airbus A380 first class 'shower spa'

It's believed the business class cabin will be downsized from 76 seats to just 58, with a whopping 557 passengers in economy, although the business class bar on the upper deck will remain.

Review: Airbus A380 ‘bar wars’ – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar

Emirates president Tim Clark confirmed the move at a press conference in Copenhagen today, where he announced that the first of the two-class A380s would debut on the Dubai-Copenhagen route from December 1.

Emirates will retain its original three-class A380 layout for the most profitable long-haul routes, while using additional two-class A380 to serve selected markets where there's a high demand for seats, but not at high prices.

Also read: Squeeze alert – Airbus touts narrow 'Budget Economy' airplane seating

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 12/12/14 by edy4eva

Theyr'e not axing any F suites on current fleet, or future planned 3-class fleet. This is part of the original order for 2-class A380 frames which was placed many years ago.

2 on 13/12/14 by Travelator

I'm surprised they're not taking on premium economy. I thought airlines were doing well with PE.

3 on 9/4/15 by somethingy23

David should that be 525 seats since 126+399 & 98+427 = 525? Just asking...

1 on 9/4/15 by drpurpleturtle


It's believed the business class cabin will be downsized from 76 seats to just 58, with a whopping 557 passengers in economy, although the business class bar on the upper deck will remain.

I'm wondering where else EK will be sending these "two class configurated" A380's to. They already have a whole lot of "three class configurated" A380 destinations within Europe & The Middle East... They also have quite a few "two class configurated" Boeing 77W's operating on the same routes...

1 on 10/4/15 by Rishi

Delevloping Countries are the best bet with the 2-class config especially cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Nairobi, Bangalore where passengers can't afford pointy end tickets.

4 on 10/4/15 by TheRealBabushka

Another one bites the dust....

5 on 10/4/15 by Alex_upgrade

If they're retaining the bar at the back of the upper-deck, this must mean that the extra economy seats headed for the upperdeck will be positioned at the front with Business behind them.

I don't see the upper-deck business class folks being happy about this when it comes to disembarking, unless they force the upper deck economy pax to disembark downstairs.

Perhaps the bar will be relocated mid cabin?

1 on 10/4/15 by nix584

These will be new A380's, so EK may configure it to have J where F now is then move the bar forward and have Y at the rear of the upper deck.

1 on 10/4/15 by Alex_upgrade

Yes, I thought so too. By locating it in the middle (or even front) of the upper deck where the showers are now, they might be able to update the design a little. Qatar and Etihad's A380 bars seem a little less tacky to EK's.

6 on 10/4/15 by simon

Brilliant new for us - home town trips now on A380 - although will be interesting to see the seat config map - is it out yet? my only issue is that CPH might not be ready to handle the 600+ passangers in one hit! it is bad enough with the 777 currently (although in J not too bad - as long as this J priority exit can be replicated with the A380)

7 on 10/4/15 by Brian

Given that the direct EK 380 flights from the east coast of Australia to DXB are generally full or close to it in J, I think our 380s are likely to stay in the current configuration.

1 on 10/4/15 by undertheradar

a fullish J cabin doesn't  necessarily equate to 'success'...BUT  ALSO taking F/C off these routes may be more detrimental to their 'bottom line'...and based on that reason, I don't think EK will remove F/C from their SYD, MEL, 'indirectly' this is tied into QF offering F/C on these routes.

1 on 10/4/15 by undertheradar

EK J cabin often gets 'upgrades' through various means...F/F,staff,friends,family

1 on 10/4/15 by Brian

@undertheradar - quite true but I'm an EK FF myself, and even if I use EF to give me an alert regarding available D class upgrades on the MEL-DXB route, they're as rare as hens teeth on the direct A380 flight EK406 except in low season. Much better success rate on EK 409, but that's on a 77W via KUL leaving at 3am. All of that suggests that the A380 on that route is mainly full of paying pax.

8 on 10/4/15 by skystar

Who remembers the original 747 with the upper deck and its lounge,a bit of deju vu.The lounges didnt last long after the airlines decided to put in seats as another way to increase revenue.

1 on 10/4/15 by Geoff

I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw this. I remember the big fanfares about the bars in the 747. But, very shortly, the beancounters equated the bar area to 30+ seats. I suspect the 380's will cop the same fate sooner or later.

9 on 10/4/15 by elchriss0

EK squishing more seats in, what a comparison SQ's recently announced premium eco makes there seatcount 379 in the same space as EK's 615.

1 on 10/4/15 by elchriss0


10 on 13/4/15 by Rhys

615 passengers?!  If they are moving from 10 across to the hideous 11 across configuration in economy, why would you bother flying them?  Having just landed back from Bangkok yesterday in their 10-across B777 which was booked to capacity, I'm not impressed with the squeeze.  It's absolutely crap for a supposed "premium" carrier - I reckon Air Asia X has better seat width in economy long haul!

1 on 14/4/15 by elchriss0

No, 11 across is not a thing as of yet, but probably will be if / when they introduce the A380NEO.  Remember the evacuation limit for an A380 is 853 passengers, 18 cabin crew, and two pilots.  That number is possible in single class configuration with 10 across on main deck, 8 across on top deck with 30inch pitch (i.e. domestic seat pitch).

I outright refuse to fly EK and I've previously gone the long way around to avoid them on more than one occasion, even their current A380s are crap compared to SQ.  Their seat layout is already too much compared to other airlines' layouts.

11 on 6/5/15 by Stuart

One minute Emirates is ditching First Class to a 2 class layout on A380's, the next we are all about privacy and railway carriages. I am no airline CEO, but when SIA add Premium Economy onto their fleet, then I suggest that Emirates wake up. Given the numbers of baby boomers flying the globe, especially from Australia, I would offer the suggestion that Emirates are going to miss the boat. These are people conservative enough not wanting to pay for business seats, but wealthy enough that they will pay a premium not to be stuck in a 3 - 4 - 3 setout. Emirates you need some PE and need to get your service up to the wonderful SIA standards.

12 on 19/5/15 by pdragh

Is there a seat map for this configuration yet, I just booked CPH to Dubai in Jan   

and business was still from row 6 to 26, as per 3 class layout


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