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Emirates reveals new Boeing 777 business class seat

By David Flynn     Filed under: emirates, business class, Boeing 777, first class

Emirates has revealed its new Boeing 777 business class seat, which will take to the skies from November on all new Boeing 777-300ER jets – and passengers in the middle seat have once again drawn the short straw.

There's plenty to like about the all-new design: the seats convert to a fully-flat bed, unlike the angled sleepers of today’s Boeing 777 business class, with a mini-bar and massive 23 inch personal video screen.

But, as expected, the 2-3-2 layout makes no allowance for direct aisle access by the passenger in the middle seat, who'll instead need to step past or over their seatmates to get to the aisle.

High walls between each 'pod' providing ample privacy, with the sidewall containing a small chilled minibar.

A recessed armrest area with seat controls doubles as a long surface for drinks and snacks, with a secondary ‘cocktail table’ at the end of the divider between seats.

The seat is positioned well back within its own space, with a large touchscreen IFE controller and adjustable reading light to one side, along with AC and USB power ports.

The cross-stitched leather seats borrow some hallmarks of high-end British automotive design, similar to the same cues as seen in British Airways’ new Boeing 787-9 first class.

And there's no escaping the excess of burled walnut veneer which trumpets the seat's Emirates parentage.

This video offers a guided tour of the new seat:

No retrofit for the rest of the Boeing 777 fleet

However, Emirates won't be retrofitting the new seat to its current Boeing 777 current fleet, which will be headed to pasture from 2020 once Emirates starts to fly the next-gen Boeing 777X as part of a sweeping overhaul.

Emirates has signed on the dotted line for 35 of the long-range Boeing 777-8X jets, which can carry 350 passengers, and a further 115 of the larger 400 seat but shorter-range 777-9X.

Read more: Emirates to replace entire Boeing 777 fleet with 777X jets

Emirates is also working on a new version of its current first class suites, which the airline has already described as "more like a private railway cabin".

The new "private bedroom" suite will first appear on the Airbus A380, with the Boeing 777 fleet to follow.

Tim Clark, President and CEO of Emirates, has previously said the "our new bedroom concept will take [privacy] to the next level.”

"We’re talking fully enclosed rooms, with all the touches and amenities that you’d expect in hotel or a private bedroom on a luxury yacht, room service and so on."

Read: Emirates' first class private bedroom for Airbus A380, Boeing 777

More AusBT stories on new business class seats:

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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.

 

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1 on 8/11/15 by ILIKEPLANES101

Would certainly be a much needed upgrade!

2 on 8/11/15 by AJT_

Definetly needs an upgrade, EKs 777 product is kind of dated now

3 on 9/11/15 by mern2001

I couldn't agree more. The business product on the A380 is good, while the seat on the 777 is very dated. Most other airlines try to offer a consistent business product - so this would be a big leap forward.

4 on 9/11/15 by etihadguestgold

I feel like this would be a great chance for Emirates to really succeed... While they have a glamorous product on their A380, their product on the Boeing 777 is only standard. Personally, I also prefer the 777 for premium cabins as it is much more intimate and has a wider cabin. The Sogerma Solstys Seat used on the A380 would be awesome on the 777 due to the wide cabin, but a reverse heringbone seat such as the one Cathay Pacific uses would be even more commendable. Imagine having a seat like that of Cathay Pacific with all the amenities Emirates offers such as bedding, Tablets to control the seat, bars. 

Probably even more excited about First Class though! Can't wait to see how they will respond to the Etihad First Apartment. I suspect it will be good, but not too revolutionary, so slightly better than the Apartment. I am sure though that Singapore Airlines will come up with a sensational product (as they always do) on their new batch of A380s, and with Singapore Girl service, this wont be topped by the Gulf Carriers!

5 on 9/11/15 by moa999

Very interesting.

Pressure building for Qantas to announce an A380 refurb (after all they announced the A330 refurb 12 mths before it actually started)

1 on 9/11/15 by AJT_

For all we know Qantas may be planning to announce something good about a380s sooner or later. 

6 on 9/11/15 by Shoudy

Hope they upgrade these crappy business class seats as soon as possible!

7 on 11/11/15 by bl812

They got the worst layout and the most uncomfortable bed on the777yet they charge more than SQ for a ticket.

Luckily from Adl we have Qatar now so will never fly with this overrated and mediocre airline on this route again

Ev en the food and wine list are less than average,now that they making a huge profit they couldn't care less

8 on 12/11/15 by Antony

Recently travelled on Etihad. Sydney to Abu Dhabi and to Washington and back. Flew the A380 and the 787-9 in business on all four legs.

Impeccable product, service, lounges...EK and some other carriers doesn't come close. Safe to say I was completely blown away. Also it was cheaper than flying EK/QF. QF's A380's are tired and EK's service can be brilliant one day and average the next.

I guess the same can be said for all airlines yet look out world as Etihad is certainly on the move. I was also invited to look at a First Apartment and caught a glimpse of the Residence. Mindblowing.

Highly recommend the new Etihad product. A lot of Ansett DNA in the management in AUH.

I noted below a comment on Singapore's new batch of A380's. They have had all 19 delivered and have no more orders for them.

Safe and happy travels.

1 on 4/3/16 by superflyer

Well you did fly on their two latest aircraft, funded by term-free, tax-free loans, so I wouldn't expect anything short of impressive.

2 on 4/3/16 by elchriss0

No more on order you say?! They ordered an additional 5 way back in 2012 (i.e. old news) to be delivered from 2017/18 with new cabin products.

9 on 4/3/16 by AlexT

Well, IMO, if they're gonna upgrade anyway, why not scrap the 2-3-2? 

It's the biggest thing holding Emirates back! Yet after spending the time and money to redevelop it - the most important thing of all - the 2-3-2 isn't being replaced by something on the lines of their A380 staggered layout.

Bizzare decision - but I'm sure Emirates won't care.

I guess it's another wait until 2020 to see if we can, finally, get direct aisle access (perhaps another revolution such as a double bed in Business Class as introduced by Qatar would be trendy by then)

1 on 4/3/16 by Newbie7

I just can't fathom that EK, after years of development and knowing that their 777 product is ages behind their ME competitors, would not provide direct aisle access. I'd like to bet that maybe their 2-3-2 layout is equivalent to JAL's new Business class, which has the window and middle seats staggered so they actually still allow for direct aisle access to everyone? And these seats also provide the privacy of a suite, too (albeit a little tight). Oman Air recently went with the similar design on their 787s (2-2-2, so only the windows need to be staggered), and has gotten really good reviews, so this seat type is perhaps catching on. Be interesting to see what they say next week - and if I'll eat my hat hah!

1 on 4/3/16 by StudiodeKadent

I think you may actually be correct and EK will go for BE Apex. We know the seat will be from BE in the first place, so that helps.

Look at Seatguru's LOPA for JAL's new 777-300ERs. Emirates basically want one less row of that, so they'll have to sacrifice 3 (or perhaps 4 at worst) rows of Economy. So the capacity of the jet will go down, but so will the fuel burn and labor costs.

Its a perfectly feasible LOPA, will provide more privacy and direct aisle access, and still permit paired travel. 

Note that EK will only be putting this arrangement on NEW 777-300ERs, so I'd presume they'd only be sending these jets to premium destinations mostly serviced by the A380 anyway.

2 on 9/3/16 by Rishi

The only reason EK can get away with this is due to their Dubai hub and their popularity thanks to people who hail it as the best airline and don't bother to look at others in the region such as EY and QR.

10 on 4/3/16 by Stuart

Again it is all about profit. No direct aisle access in a Business Cabin. How ordianry is that. But then this is the airline that has 3-4-3 in 777 and wants 3-5-3 on A380. What else is thee to say. Sounds like Ryanair.

11 on 4/3/16 by Dale

Disappointing. Underwhelming. 10yrs behind the times.

12 on 4/3/16 by JakeDrake

With the first 777 with new business seats not coming until the end of 2016 and the existing fleet of 100+ 777s not being retrofitted this looks like many more years of high odds of flying the same old J seats. Underwhelming announcement. 

13 on 4/3/16 by spudseamus

Well ok this announcement won't get me out of EY any time soon . 

14 on 4/3/16 by bl812

so it's just a cosmetic bull again on the 777 fleet.Still 2-3-2 which is the same like a 2-3 star airline's business layout, the only diff is that emirates charges nearly twice as much, yet you have to put up with the worst configuration-will swap to Etihad and Qatar as the real competition to this too big for it's own good airline-anyway dubai is getting one of the worst airport-constant delays not to mention they park the planes like half an hour bus ride from the terminal in most cases so despite your plan to spend a little time at the always overcrowded business lounge you hardly have time to do so.

The only reasonable product is first class with the private cabins-they are really nice but even the food is mediocre there very similar to business class,flew both classes and will do one more time before switching to Ethad and Qatar for good.Using up the points which is another ridiculous story-charging like 700 dollars just for tax while Etihad on business charges like 120 on a one way fare to Europe.

the only advice try other real quality before you fly with EK! You will see the difference,obviously the management don't listen to the public and try to squeeze as much revenue out of you for mediocre services as they can.

15 on 4/3/16 by Dale

I flew EK777 business from Boston to India return a couple fo weeks ago. Never again. The seats are so narrow becaue of the 2/3/2 layout. There are lumpy bits of plastic everywhere ensuring you cannot sit or lie straight and endless knocks whenever you moved.  The existing seats are too short which meant I could not sit with my legs extended or lay flat. Really dreadful. Made me really appreciate Qantas and Qatar with the fully extenable lay flat beds and room to sit and lie. I swore never to fly Emirates again.

16 on 4/3/16 by Nicholas

The pressure is on at last, having endured the semi flat beds with EK on  a number of occasions, have jumped ship to QR business.... as with my 6ft 5"  frame  I was sick of "sliding off the perch".    I can at least thank Emirates for flying direct out of Adelaide, but extra competition will continue to improve the general experience.

The EK Business is looking very tired, so I will stay away from EK in anticipation of some revised seating in the future... just hope it happens sooner rather than later!!

Added to avoiding Dubai Airport,  and the EK Business lounge, QR is a real NEW bonus!!.

17 on 6/3/16 by James

[Deleted - off-topic]

1 on 7/3/16 by Chris

Hi James, and welcome to AusBT.

Please be aware that we have a comment policy and that off-topic comments are routinely removed.

(While your comment related to Emirates business class, you were discussing lounge access for minors in Dubai, not the new Boeing 777 business class seat which is the topic of the article.)

When your question doesn't directly relate to the topic of an article, feel free to ask a question in our dedicated Q&A section instead to avoid going off-topic.

Cheers,

-Chris

18 on 9/3/16 by Richard Brown

Here we go, courtesy of Business traveller UK

19 on 9/3/16 by reeves35

Seats are underwhelming.  Is there any risk that EK will one day move away from the gold and fake wood bling?

1 on 9/3/16 by Rishi

Well many people associate bling cabin with Emirates so I guess they will lose marketing power, just look on YouTube how the bling sets it apart from other airline videos

20 on 9/3/16 by Rishi

QF needs to get their new seats on the A380 to show EK who's boss.

1 on 9/3/16 by hutch

Yes, EK is losing it's "magic"... 

21 on 9/3/16 by StudiodeKadent

Now that we have pictures...

Its certainly a nice-looking (given Emirates' style) product, and a substantial improvement over the current product. Its quite private too!

The lack of direct aisle access, however, is a big negative.

But it seems to me the bed sinks down a little lower compared to most business class seats of a similar design. This would make it easier for the middle seat to access the aisle. It isn't direct aisle access but it does seem to be an improvement.

That said, Qatar and Etihad are much more my taste aesthetically (but the bling of Emirates is part of the fun). And even though direct-aisle-access designs are necessarily more restrictive of leg space and/or less space-efficient, the market does prefer them (and I do find them more convenient, personally).

I guess the fact that Emirates' A380 Business Class product really isn't that premium (the seat is only 18.5" wide and the footwell is REALLY tight) probably helps balance things out a little. But seriously, Emirates will probably need to cut fares a little in order to remain competitive with their product.

22 on 10/3/16 by jubbing

They announce a new seat, which looks very nice and comfortable, yet they stick with the 2-3-2 layout? What's up with that Mr. Clark?

Happy they refreshed the seat, disappointed they continue to call this industry leading when both Qatar & Etihad have much better layout than this!

Though I am happy to hear flat bads are coming with this - it's the reason I never fly Emirates in Business anymore, I hate to go to sleep and wake up halfway down the seat!

1 on 10/3/16 by Daniel

Or worse, with a pyjama wedgie

23 on 10/3/16 by T

Which  is the plane that this product being put on, 777-9/8 or the normal 777

1 on 10/3/16 by Dave

It says in the first paragraph of the article

24 on 10/3/16 by ashnic7g

I have been impressed by the new J product on Etihad. How do we think this will compare?

1 on 10/3/16 by aviation

The EY product is infinitely better in my opinion. Having a 2-3-2 configuration in J class is simply unacceptable for an airline that considers itself "premium".

25 on 10/3/16 by sgb

Yeah, small chilled minibar, better than room temperature. Glad the burled signature walnut is still there.

26 on 10/3/16 by hwle

Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to planespotters, Emirates only has 6 more 777-300ER deliveries outstanding, which would suggest that the new Business Class will only be fitted on 6 of a fleet of 132 777-300/777-300ER aircraft!!

1 on 10/3/16 by Christopher

No I think it's with a certain period they will have 6 however they have

Boeing 777-300ER:Orders:39Options:20Total order:152

and 

Boeing 777X orders:8:359:115Total:150

27 on 10/3/16 by AWA2602

Oh dear! That cheap and tacky looking wood trim the harsh and sparkly chrome trim have to go! They really let down what would otherwise be a stylish look. As if the 2-3-2 layout and lack of direct aisle access isn't dated enough.

1 on 10/3/16 by Richard Brown

If the second picture is accurate, passengers, especially those in the centre seats are going to get a fantastic and off putting view of what their neighbours are watching on TV. 

28 on 10/3/16 by traveller99

2-3-2 is a let down.  Doesn't matter where you sit either you, or someone next to you, will need to climb to get out.

2-2-2 is bad enough, but at least if I'm in the middle 2 I know I have direct access and no one climbing over me.

But the new seat does look wider.

The Qantas Skybed is looking more and more dated.....

1 on 10/3/16 by simon

i love the look of it - more privacy - chilled minibar - more comfy seat possibly and wonderful fully flat - but what is it with all the emirates bashing ?? - they are cheaper than QF et al and for the price are wonderful - if you want more space etc etc then you pay more - for what you pay you get an OK product (talking about the current 777 as live in adelaide) great food, great service - i just dont get all the complaints - 2-2-2 would have been nice of course but that middle seat (having been in it once from adl to dxb) is OK - the privacy divider fine and i didnt feel at all inconvenienced getting out

1 on 10/3/16 by travelislife

Well the 2 main airlines they compete against, Qatar and Etihad are way ahead in this game. Qatar's 777's business class is 2-2-2 with lots of space and a-la-carte dining. Their A350's are 1-2-1. Their prices also aren't out of line with EK's so not sure that argument stands.

29 on 10/3/16 by Truie

Their 1st class product is quite nice but in this day and age, 2 x 3 x 3. Really?

30 on 10/3/16 by riley

The 3 seats plus big screens of J looks like a blinged out version of the Daytona video game... Something you'd find in Shaquille O'Neal's house in MTV cribs!

1 on 11/3/16 by Marc

Haha, I had the same association. It looks like an Arcade Hall. Watching a movie in the three seat configuration will be hardly possible with distraction. I wonder about the amount of light coming from these screens when you want to sleep and your neighbour is binge watching House of Cards

31 on 10/3/16 by russell

Not a winner at all. And those huge TV screens will be very distracting to the passengers next door, especially if you are in the middle seat.

32 on 10/3/16 by Comyns

Less of an upgrade than a mid cycle refresh, this decision is hard to fathom. EK's competitors must be thrilled.

33 on 10/3/16 by Christopher

Hopefully the B777X gets a completely new business class seat, and new wider economy seats. 

34 on 10/3/16 by Speak_

Apparently the seat count is the same as is the seat pitch. So when in lie-flat the bed is... wait for it... 6 feet long. They've taken the space for an angled bed and fitted a flat product.

 

Avoid like the plague if you're like me and > 6 feet tall. 

1 on 11/3/16 by StudiodeKadent

Actually the pitch isn't the same.

According to Seatguru the previous pitch was 60 inches. This new product has a pitch of 72 inches (i.e. six feet), so the pitch has indeed been improved by a whole foot.

I agree , though, that this bed is not going to be the best for taller persons. Unless you generally sleep on your side and in the fetal position.

35 on 10/3/16 by Alex_upgrade

The 2-3-2 layout is for practical reasons. Given they're not retrofitting the existing 777 fleet, if they'd introduced 1-2-1 it would have been impossible to integrate the new 777s with the existing ones at 2-3-2. 

Missed opportunity for sure. But sadly the economics win out in the end. 

1 on 11/3/16 by FLX

<<it they'd introduced 1-2-1 it would have been impossible to integrate the new 777s with the existing ones at 2-3-2.>>

With so many here screaming they can't understand why EK insisted on the out-dated 2-3-2 layout for their latest J design, I'm guessing U & I are probably the only ones here who instantly  understand EK's logic in this move exactly as U hv described. Industry op terms such as fleet rotation /deployment /rostering flexibility, last minute equipment swap, consistent daily seatcount inventory, etc. probably hv no meanings to many folks here....

Heck, some may actually believe in the flawed math of a 777 with J in 1-2-1 layout can carry the same/similar number of seats as another in 2-3-2.....somehow 7 - 3 still equals to 7 seats available for booking, not down to just 4 seats......may be in a parallel universe.

I refuse to believe for a massive+sophisticated+successful corp like EK, they didn't do an extremely thoroughly trade-off study /cost-benefit analysis re customer preference vs op complexity before choosing to remain with 2-3-2 for their new J design on 777.

For the record, I personally don't even like nor need(out of necessity) to fly EK regardless of cabin class.  Just trying to inject some perspectives here among a huge wave of complaints coming purely fm the consumer angle.

<<Missed opportunity for sure...>>

Fully agreed.  For 1 thing, EK could hv got the best of both worlds for their new J @ little loss to total seat count:  2-3-2 PLUS direct -aisle access for every seat

Such design exists and as someone mentioned earlier on this forum, already in Rev$ service @ JL since Jan2013.

<<But sadly the economics win out in the end.>>

It's actually very simple but many folks who complained here don't seem to get it:

EK don't need to offer the best cabin product(e.g. matching QR's or EY's) out there as they know they can get away with just ok product.  QR & EY must but not EK.

Why?

Because EK lead/beat their closest/best competitors by a huge margin in terms of global network coverage+frequency AND op scale(i.e. huge fleet+hub) and most importantly: extremely hard for competitors to ever match or just catch-up.....unlike fancy inflight hardwares which are much much much easier to copy.

Often overlooked by individual pax who rightfully only care about their personal experience with a seat or the food, these factors alone will constantly generate huge demand for EK services regardless of what happen with their inflight product.

I mean think about it.  In the AU+NZ mkt alone, total EK seat  capacity today probably more than double(may be triple...) those offered by QR+EY COMBINED.  QR only started to touch SYD a few wks ago and EY is just a baby in NZ....contrast that with EK which has been around for well over a DECADE.

It's like in the U.S. where every town, big or small, has a giant Walmart, it's hard for Safeway/local supermarkets to compete even if vast majority of consumers prefer the shopping experience @ Safeway way more than @ Walmart.

36 on 17/3/16 by Stuart

How anyone in their right mind would have a 2-3-2 business class like this is beyond me. Fabulous product, crap layout. Emirates is a great airline, but suffers from the greed syndrome. Take the economy layout on the 777. 3-4-3. One of few airlines who adopt this insane search for profit. This new set up is superb, but is rubbish in this layout. Imagine being in the middle and wanting to have a pit stop en route. It is the same as the insane layout proposed on the new A380's in economy of 3-5-3. In has memories of the old Continental DC10's trans pacific. For gods sake, if you want that much profit, put strap hangers in the aisles and toilets. You have a great airline, good food, with this better seating and amenities, but I doubt will never, ever match the SIA cabin crew with their service, business, first or economy. They have it down pat. Sorry...You do not have consistent service, which is where SIA kills you.

 

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