Emirates takes delivery of A380


Emirates has taken delivery of their first A380 aircraft this morning. They aren’t the first carrier to operate the A380, so that isn’t all that exciting, but it does mean that they’ve finally announced the details of their cabin layout and amenities. And what a collection they include.

The First Class cabin will include spa showers, private suites for each passenger and a bar area that includes a “water feature” as well as food and beverage to keep you busy throughout the flight. The lounge features “A selection of delicacies by leading international chefs, have been prepared to entice the most discerning of palates,” and “a selection of beverages, as well as some of the finest world-class wines carefully selected by our sommeliers.” It appears that the lounge will be shared with the Business Class passengers based on a photo caption, but the description of the lounge for the Business Class cabin has a much more austere description (“A variety of drinks and hot and cold beverages are available throughout your flight.”) so it is hard to know for certain. The First Class Suites also have a mini-bar, wardrobe, electrically operated doors for privacy and, much like Singapore Air’s Suites, a privacy barrier that can be lowered for passengers traveling together to share their Suites’ space.

Business class will include lie-flat seats that are 79” long and a dedicated lounge area as well. The seats in the Business Class cabin appear to be a design where your feet slide under the seat in front of you, which allows for longer beds without taking up too much space in the airplane so the airlines can maintain their seating density. Continental apparently is going to be installing similar seats starting in late 2009 on their fleet, though the announcement was pulled off the website pending an official announcement coming soon. Oh, and the seats have a built-in mini-bar and touch-screen remote control for all the systems.

The economy cabin will have adjustable headrests (a great feature) and slidey bottom seats, which allow for a more comfortable recline.

All seats on the plane have Emirate’s ICE entertainment system, with 1000 channels of content. The screen sizes will vary, with Biz having 17” screens and First having 23” screens.

I still can’t find a seat map for the new plane so I don’t know just how many of each seat there is going to be on the plane and what the spacing really is going to look like. But it looks pretty exciting for now.

Flights are scheduled to begin on Dubai-JFK 3x weekly starting August 8th, with a special service on August 1st/3rd to inaugurate the plane on the route.

(note: All pictures courtesy of Emirates.com)

UPDATE (7.28.2008 4:02p EDT):A few quick updates on this post…

  • The Business Class bar is different than the First Class bar.
  • The Business Class seats are actually two different sizes in a staggered arrangement. This is incredibly strange, with the seats having either 39″ or 48″ pitch when upright and a bed length of 70″ or 79″ when in sleep mode. Just plain strange.
  • Seat pitch in Economy is 32-33″, which isn’t all that bad.
  • There are 156 Biz seats on the plane and 399 Economy seats, to go with the 14 F suites. Clearly the bet being made here is on the Biz seats driving high margins.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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