At the Dubai Airshow in 2013, Emirates placed the largest order in the 777 order books for 150 Boeing 777-8 and -9’s. However, we don’t know too much about the aircraft so in this article we’ll be taking a look at what we do know and what Emirates management have said regarding the aircraft.
On November 17, the first day of the Dubai Air Show, Emirates announced an order for 150 777Xs consisting of 35 Boeing 777-8’s and 115 Boeing 777-9’s; breaking in the process a record for the single largest order for a new airplane from Emirates and the single largest airplane order in aviation history. In August 2019 the first Emirates Boeing 777-9 emerged from the Boeing factory at its Everett plant.
However a few months after the first aircraft was revealed, the Dubai based carrier cut back its order by 24 aircraft (14 777-9’s and 10 777-8’s) with 11 more to be considered. Although with the Covid-19 pandemic crippling the finances of airlines across the globe it would not be surprising for Emirates to cancel or defer more orders for the 777X, much like it is considering to do so with the Airbus A380.
The interior of the upcoming aircraft is going to be a major selling point for the carrier with it phasing out its dated 3-2-3 business class configuration (which it has on its current 777’s) in favour of a 1-2-1 configuration offering direct isle access to all business class passengers. In early 2018, Emirates released a new first class product- a “game changer”-and indeed it was. The suite was fully enclosed, which was an industry first, and included designs by BMW and features NASA’s zero gravity technology.
Emirates’ First class has always been a favourite among many travellers, with even some going out of their way to fly the product. The 777X’s first class will have the new “game changer” first class but will be slightly refreshed. Reports suggest that the configuration for the aircraft will be 1-1-1 which includes the middle suites that have industry first “virtual windows” which give the customer the same view as if they were sitting in a window seat.
Credit: Emirates media centre
Emirates’ Boeing 777X business class will take elements from the A380 and 777 to create the new and improved suite. Emirates President Sir Tim Clark has said “There will be a new business class seat, which is basically the same as we have on the A380” designed in a 1-2-1 layout and with the carrier’s signature at-seat minibar. However, the seat will look more like the seat on the newer 777’s with the colour palette being taken from there. There will also be a small social area, much like the product onboard the 777-200LR, but it will be placed at the start or end of the business class cabin.
Credit: Emirates media centre
Emirates premium economy class is an all-new class which the airline will launch sometime in late 2020 or early 2021, depending on when air travel picks up again. As with other airlines offering premium economy, Emirates is aiming at economy class passengers willing to pay more for an all-round better travel experience without risking any price-driven downgrades from business class. Much speculation has surrounded the seat, with many thinking that the seat will be the HAECO eclipse seat.
Economy class looks to be the same on the 777s, the seat would be common among the whole fleet. This means that we won’t see any major updates to the seat when the aircraft launches. However, Emirates is constantly looking to improve passenger experience so an economy seat refresh may not be far off for the airline.
credit: Emirates media centre
Emirates could choose to put the new aircraft on any route it chooses. Nevertheless some likely routes are Dubai-Los Angeles, which is currently served by an A380. Another contender is the Dubai to Mexico City route which is currently served by the 777-200LR, the 777-9 would bring higher efficiency to the route but it would also be a perfect fit for the route as the airport is in a high and hot region which means that with the aircrafts long range a no fuel stop would be needed and the aircraft could complete the journey very easily. Lastly, the Dubai-London heathrow route would heavily benefit from the increased efficiency of the aircraft and with Emirates’ 6 daily flights to the London hub; Emirates would see a drastic reduction in costs on the route.
Even though the covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on Emirates they expect to come out of these dark time as a stronger airline.With Emirates still scheduled to take the aircraft sometime in 2021, hopefully we get to try the product and bring you more coverage as time goes on.