Emirates is not known for doing things understated – that’s definitely reflected in their interior design of their aircraft. Shiny faux wood veneer, gold and white leather doesn’t scream old time class does it? Most of their cabins are adorned in over the top designs that perhaps leave little to the imagination in terms of perceived opulence.
That said, despite the nouvoux riche designs of their cabins it does seem as though the Emirates look has been a rather big hit around the world, with most acknowledging but embracing the gloriousness of fake wood and faux gold.
Emirates might be changing their tune a bit though, with their newest announcement today that some changes are afoot regarding their famous on board lounge that features throughout their A380 fleet.
It seems that Emirates has some changes in the pipeline for their signature lounge/bar space at the rear of the A380 Business Class cabin. These changes will feature on new deliveries this year through 2017, but a new timeline on updating the existing fleet has not yet been announced by the airline.
While retaining the signature horseshoe design of the original bar area, the new changes to the lounge include removing the seating area and installing more booth style seating, modelled after private seating areas of yachts and private jets. Seating will face each other and will have a table in between. The glossy gold veneer will be replaced by more demure black lacquered finishes and the area will also feature more tempered mood lighting, with more options being added for the cabin crew to activate.
Emirates has also increased the seating capacity of this area given their new ‘yacht cabana’ layout, with about 26 passengers being able to be accommodated with up to 8 passengers being seated at any given time.
Additionally Emirates will introduce sound proof curtains to minimize the noise from the bar to the passenger cabin – a constant gripe for those seated towards the rear of the Business Class cabin. To that end subwoofers to enhance surround sound will be added to pipe lounge music through the area and will also mirror the integrated mood lighting and soft ambient LED lighting.
The 55 inch HD screen will also remain, giving passengers partaking in the experience a constant stream of information on flight details.
The first of these revamped cabins should feature beginning summer 2017.
This is nice, isn’t it?
It’s impressive that Emirates continues to innovate on a on board bar and lounge area that already is widely acclaimed. Qatar Airways and Etihad both attempted similar things on their respective A380s but they don’t seem to have achieved the same level of satisfaction with their iterations of the Emirates product.
As has been EK’s motus opperandi over their past history, the airline has pioneered an idea and executed it very well and continues to hone in and refine the idea. Emirates did it with IFE – the airline pioneered the idea of personal entertainment in all classes on their A310 fleet as far back as 1994 – and now boasts what has been ranked the best in flight entertainment in the world in ICE for about 12 years now.
It seems as though they’re doing the same with the on board lounge now – setting the benchmark and continuing to push it further as the years go on.
As an EK passenger in either First or Business Class, I’d imagine these new changes are going to be something to look forward to. While EK’s aesthetic might not be for everyone (hint: neither me or Joey) it does serve its purpose – though it does seem nice that the airline is making subtle strides towards moving to a more chic, understated image to the garish yellow gold one they currently occupy and own.
Excited to try the new Emirates on board lounge? We’ll let you know what routes they’ll be featured on as soon as they’re announced!
Featured image credit: Emirates