Aviation The business-class seat inspired by a sports car

One of Emirates' Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.
Photo of Geoffrey Thomas

A sleek automobile-influenced look and feel is the aim aboard Emirates' new Boeing 777s, but our Aviation Editor has reservations.

Emirates recently unveiled a new business-class seat for its Boeing 777 at a travel show in Berlin.

It will be introduced on to Emirates’ 170th Boeing 777 aircraft, which it will receive in November but will not be refitted to the airline’s existing fleet.

While the seat is an improvement in that it lies flat, the airline has retained the 2-3-2 layout.

Emirates says that the design and shape of the new business-class seat was “inspired by the interior of a modern sports car with ergonomically designed headrest and sleek overall look and feel”.

And certainly it looks smart and flashy, but business-class passengers now demand privacy and direct aisle access so the middle seat is out.

The seat has a pitch of 182cm and can be electrically moved into a fully flat sleeping position, which is an improvement over the existing seat. “Seat pitch” is the distance between one point on a seat and the same point on the seat in front.

Emirates says the seats retain many of the popular features of the current product, including a mini-bar and one of the industry’s largest personal TV screens, at 58cm.

Added are a USB port to charge devices, an HDMI port to stream content from personal devices directly on to the IFE screen, as well as improved lighting for reading.

Emirates has redesigned the privacy panel between seats, the literature pocket, foot rest, shoe-stowage area, and expanded the personal meal table.

The industry now expects Emirates to wait until 2020, with the introduction of the 777X, to launch a total cabin makeover.

From August, Emirates will replace its morning Boeing 777 service from Perth to Dubai with an A380, which matches the evening flight. This has a much better business-class seat as well as the very popular bar. However, for passengers connecting on to 777 services to European or US destinations the 2-3-2 configuration will continue, so be sure to get in early with your seat selection — or opt for the A380 where you can get it.

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