Emirates raises passenger pampering to new levels with first class suites

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Emirates President Tim Clark makes the announcement on the brand new cabins for the Dubai carrier’s Boeing 777 fleet. (Arab News)
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Above, passengers can experience zero gravity position at Emirates’ first class section. (Courtesy Emirates)
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The new Boeing 777 First Class suite with virtual windows and an inspiration kit. (Courtesy Emirates)
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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

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.


WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Keeping things in balance

Updated 08 December 2019

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Keeping things in balance

  • The over-compliance will result in cuts of 1.7 million bpd

Brent crude rose above $64 per barrel after OPEC+ producers unanimously agreed to deepen output cuts by 503,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a total 1.7 million bpd till the end of the first quarter of 2020.

The breakdown is that OPEC producers are due to cut 372,000 bpd and non-OPEC producers to cut 131,000 bpd.

Current market dynamics led to this decision as oil price-positive news outweighed more bearish developments in the US-China trade narrative that has weighed on oil prices throughout the year, with US crude exports rising to a record 3.4 million bpd in October versus 3.1 million bpd in September.

OPEC November crude oil output levels at 29.8 million bpd show that producers were already overcomplying with its current 1.2 million bpd output cuts deal by around 400,000 bpd. 

The over-compliance will result in cuts of 1.7 million bpd, especially when Saudi Arabia continues to voluntarily cut more than its share.

This makes the agreed 1.7 million bpd output cuts pragmatic since it won’t taken any barrels out of the market.

It isn’t a matter of OPEC making room in the market for other additional supplies from non-OPEC sources, as OPEC barrels can’t be easily replaced.

Instead, this is about avoiding any oversupply that might damage the global supply-demand balance.

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has effectively kept his promise and managed to smoothly forge a consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

He has also successfully managed the 24-country coalition of OPEC+ including Russia in reaching an agreement.

Despite suggestions otherwise in recent coverage of the Vienna meeting, the deeper cuts announced on Friday have nothing to do with the Aramco IPO. Let’s remember this meeting was scheduled six months ago and the IPO has been in the works for much longer.

The Aramco share sale did not target a specific oil price. If that was a motivating factor it could easily have chosen another time.