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Emirates’ $2 Billion Dollar Bet On Better PaxEx. This one will be hard to top.

No other airline has handled a retrofit of this magnitude in-house, and there’s no blueprint for such an undertaking.

Emirates and Oxford University Found Collaborative Data Lab to Improve Passenger Experience

Oxford University and Emirates have collaborated to found a new Data Science Lab in which will have experts from around the University use cutting-edge analysis to help the airline better manage Big Data and enhance services to airline passengers.

The new Lab will bring together researchers from at least five departments within the University, including the Mathematical Institute, the Oxford Internet Institute and the Departments of Engineering Science, Computer Science and Statistics.

The Best Bits of Emirates’ A380 Two-Class Cabin Flash Tour

Emirates takes us on a quick guided tour of its new two-class A380 aircraft.

Best Bits, By-the-Numbers, Quick Facts, Not-So Bests (AND EXCITING UPDATE) Follow

The Best Bits

  • Warm and authentic welcome onboard from all crew–nice eye contact. For a video tour this feels genuine. The crew are really this nice onboard, I’ve found.
  • Amazing in-seat IFE screens (more those below)
  • Those kids kits and meals are terrific! (starting at 1:11)
  • The spiral stairway to the upper deck is gorgeous.
  • The onboard lounge is one of the best in the industry.
  • The brand wall monument at forward stairway is rich and bold.

Emirates’ two-class A380 configuration by the numbers

Emirates 2-Class A380 Exterior, Source: Emirates
  • 58 flatbed seats in Business Class
  • 557 seats in Economy Class
  • 1 Onboard Lounge.
  • 13.3 inch Economy class in-flight entertainment screens (the widest individual in-seat screens in the industry).
  • 2,200 channels of entertainment on ice.
  • Over 220,000 passengers have flown the two-class A380 on over 450 flights since it first entered service in December of last year.

2-Class A380 Destinations: CopenhagenBangkokManchester and Kuala Lumpur.

Emirates A380 Fleet Quick-Facts

  • Emirates has more A380s than any other airline which fly to 36 destinations around the world from Dubai.
  • Emirates’ 74th A380 was recently added to the fleet.
  • Of the airline’s 74 A380s in Emirates’ fleet, four feature the two-class cabins.
  • Washington D.C is Emirates’ newest A380 destination launched in 2016
  • The airline will soon add BirminghamPrague and Taipei  to its A380 network.

Not-So Best Bits

Don’t read these as “Bad Bits” because there are none. These are merely not-so best.

  • New antimacassar colours maybe? A bit too sherbet.
  • Bulkhead and galley wall gold brush work. I’m not feeling it.
  • Having customers walk through bare galleys to get to Business class through beautiful spiral staircase, and up a bare staircase to get to branded wall feels backwards. Of course, there are good service reasons for this, but it could be done better. We know there are beautiful galleys available now–and quick, simple attractive ways to make plain aircraft galleys attractive. (Scroll down the linked article and you’ll see what I mean.
  • Interiors are high-quality, but could be ready for trim/styling/palette update.
  • In general, Emirates offers one of the finest in-flight experiences in the skies. But the decor needs a review. It’s not unattractive, only a bit too gilded lily.

All interiors aesthetics are subjective, so these are only an observation based on my personal design taste. Having flown on Emirates many times before (though never these A380s), I must say that I liked the decor once onboard the aircraft itself.

But it has been around for a while and, in terms of design aesthetic,  I believe it’s showing its age.

Perhaps focus groups have liked this design in the markets served, but comparing it to the design of Etihad’s new A380s in similar markets, I’d say there’s call to consider a light image refresh soon. With so many aircraft entering the fleet, it might be difficult to coordinate, but it’s also an ideal opportunity.

Perhaps there are already plans underway. I’ve heard rumours to this effect, but I’ve been hearing those rumours for a while. We’ll just have to keep watching the skies over Dubai.

Whether or not you’d trim these cabins differently, they are still pretty hard to beat.


UPDATE: Aircraft Interiors International Magazine has announced that Emirates will be revealing an industry changing ‘super Business class’ seat on its new B777 aircraft. The new seat will be revealed at ITB, Berlin next week. Emirates CEO, Sir Tim Clark, tells Aircraft Interiors International Magazine of the seat:

“We gave the seat a fresh and modern look, retained all the existing features that our customers love and added a few more, while improving the seating and sleeping comfort,” stated Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline.

It’s one to keep an eye out for!

Airlines: Don’t Slip Up. Show Passengers Your Soft Side

Passengers obsess over the little things.

Inflight amenity kits are popular. (People also want the dish on inflight meals too, but we’ll leave food for another time.)

Take the flying experience comments of Julie Zeveloff of Business Insider who recently compared her long-haul business class flying experiences between Delta and Emirates.

While Zeveloff had a lot of good things to say about both airlines, one slight disappointment really seemed to tip the scales: slippers, or the absence thereof.