Emirates is to refit its fleet of ten B777-200LR aircraft with new wider business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.
The US$150 million refurbishment programme will see first class removed from the aircraft, making space for the carrier to offer business class seats which are two inches wider than previously, with four out of six seats in each row now having direct aisle access.
This is a departure from Emirates’ new B777-300ERs, which continue to offer a 2-3-2 layout in business class, including an undesirable middle seat without aisle access.
The airline’s B777-200LRs currently offer a three-class configuration, with eight first class seats, 42 in business class and 216 in economy, for a total of 266 seats.
The new layout will offer 38 of the new business class seats (down four seats), and 264 seats in economy (up 48 seats), for a total of 302 seats.
The carrier says that while the new B777-200LR business class seats “are in the same design and shape of Emirates’ latest lie-flat seats”, they will be two inches wider “for a more comfortable journey”.
The revamp will also see the centre overhead bins removed, and business class passengers will have access to a “social area”, also referred to by the carrier as a “mini lounge area”, offering snacks and beverages throughout the flight. Economy seats on the aircraft will also be refreshed.
The first of the refurbished aircraft will debut this week on the carrier’s route between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale, and will also feature on Emirates’ recently announced flights to Santiago de Chile.
It’s worth noting that the ten B777-200LRs represent only a small proportion of Emirates’ fleet of around 250 aircraft – the vast majority of customers will continue to experience the carrier’s seating products on its 100-odd A380s and 140 B777-300s.