Emirates raises passenger pampering to new levels with first class suites

1 / 4
Emirates President Tim Clark makes the announcement on the brand new cabins for the Dubai carrier’s Boeing 777 fleet. (Arab News)
2 / 4
Above, passengers can experience zero gravity position at Emirates’ first class section. (Courtesy Emirates)
3 / 4
The new Boeing 777 First Class suite with virtual windows and an inspiration kit. (Courtesy Emirates)
4 / 4
Above, the business class cabin inside Emirates’s Boeing 777 aircraft. Each business class cabin seat has a pitch of 72 inches and moves into a fully-flat sleeping position. (Courtesy Emirates)
Updated 12 November 2017
0

Emirates raises passenger pampering to new levels with first class suites

DUBAI: Emirates today revealed its new first class private suites packed with features aimed at raising the pampering of premium passengers to new levels.
Helped by designs from Mercedes-Benz and an advertising campaigned fronted by motoring guru Jeremy Clarkson, the Dubai-based carrier aimed to steal a march on regional rivals struggling with subdued demand in the premium cabins.
The refreshed interiors of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offer seats that recline into what the airline describes as a zero gravity position inspired by NASA and giving the feeling of weightlessness.
Passengers sitting on inside rows have virtual windows with the option of looking to the left or right using high definition camera technology.
The new 777 aircraft will have six private suites with port hole-style windows allowing the crew to look inside.
Asked by one reporter if the suite beds were big enough for two, airline president Tim Clark replied that he didn’t think they were.
“People generally behave,” he said.
The suites come with restaurant-style hatches where passengers are served drinks and canapes undisturbed – and they can also order “room service” using a video call function.
And for star-gazing passengers, binoculars are provided.
“Emirates pioneered the first class private suite concept back in 2003, and today it’s the industry benchmark when it comes to first class travels,” said Clark.
He added that Jeremy Clarkson was a natural face for the new designs while conceding that some people do “find him irritating.”
The upgraded premium cabins come despite a global slump in first and business class – including the Gulf region where prolonged oil price weakness has led to mass job cuts and has also hit travel budgets.
“Premium traffic is very much linked to the performance of the oil sector and so while the oil price has been low, demand for premium travel has been hit,” said John Strickland, a UK-based aviation analyst.


Lufthansa profit warning spooks European airline sector

Updated 17 June 2019
0

Lufthansa profit warning spooks European airline sector

  • Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last month warned of the impact of what he called ‘attritional fare wars’

FRANKFURT: Germany’s Lufthansa sent shockwaves through the European airline sector on Monday as it cut its full-year profit forecast, with lower prices and higher fuel costs compounding the effect of losses at its budget subsidiary Eurowings.
The warning follows gloomy comments last month from Irish budget airline Ryanair, which vies with Lufthansa for top spot in Europe in terms of passengers carried. Air France-KLM also reported a widening quarterly loss last month.
In a statement issued late on Sunday, Lufthansa forecast annual EBIT of between €2 billion and €2.4 billion, down from the previously targeted €2.4 billion to €3 billion.
“Yields in the European short-haul market, in particular in the group’s home markets, Germany and Austria, are affected by sustained overcapacities caused by carriers willing to accept significant losses to expand their market share,” it said.
European airlines are locked in a battle for supremacy, with a surfeit of seats holding down revenues and higher fuel costs adding to the pressure. A number of smaller airlines have collapsed over the past two years.
Lufthansa cited falling revenue from its Eurowings budget business as a key reason for the profit warning.
“The group expects the European market to remain challenging at least for the remainder of 2019,” it said.
It also pointed to high jet fuel costs, which it said could exceed last year’s figure by €550 million, despite a recent fall in crude oil prices.
Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last month warned of the impact of what he called “attritional fare wars” and said four or five European airlines were likely to emerge as the winners in the sector.
“No signs that anyone is prepared to reduce capacity, therefore we would anticipate the wave of consolidation in European short haul is not over,” said analyst Neil Wilson, analyst at London-based broker market.com.
Earlier this month global airlines slashed a widely watched industry profit forecast by 21 percent as an expanding trade war and higher oil prices compound worries about an overdue industry slowdown.
Lufthansa’s problems are centered on its European business, with a more positive outlook for its long-haul operations, especially on transatlantic and Asian routes.
Eurowings management is due to implement turnaround measures to be presented shortly, Lufthansa said, adding that efforts to reduce costs had so far been slower than expected.
Lufthansa’s adjusted margin for earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was forecast between 5.5 percent and 6.5 percent, down from 6.5 percent to 8 percent previously, it said in a statement.
Lufthansa also said it would make a €340 million provision for in its first-half accounts, relating to a tax matter in Germany originating in the years between 2001 and 2005.