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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Emirates upgrades business class cabins onboard Boeing 777s

The new cabins will feature a snack bar, wider lie-flat seats, and less overhead storage for a more spacious feel

A common area with a snack bar, wider lie-flat seats and a Ghaf tree motif - they're no longer luxuries reserved for the Emirates first class elite.

But before you get your hopes up, they're still out of reach for economy passengers too, but business class passengers will now get the amenities as part of Emirates' $150 million refurbishment of business class cabins onboard its Boeing 777-200LR planes.

The new cabins will feature larger seats laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration, in the same design of the airline's latest lie-flat seats. However, the seats will also be two inches wider.

The cabins retain all the pinnacles of luxury one would expect from a spot in business class: touchscreen controls for the seat and inflight entertainment system, several personal lighting options, privacy panels between seats, a shoe storage area, footrest and a personal mini-bar.

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But it doesn't stop there. Those pesky overhead bins in the centre of the cabin have now been removed for an "airier and more spacious feel", Emirates said.

The windows are also now electronic, and the personal in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens are apparently now the largest in business class industry-wide at 23 inches in width.

There's also a "social area" - incase you're partial to mingling or networking at 40,000 feet. The mini lounge area features a snack and beverage bar for passengers to help themselves to mid-flight.

The cabin also features a Ghaf tree motif, considered the national tree of the UAE and already featured in their first class cabins.

But just when you thought passengers further back in the plane were to miss out again, Emirates have upgraded aspects of the economy class seats too. The colour scheme is now soft greys and blues, as opposed to the champagne hues and diamond-stitched pattern of business class, with ergonomically-designed seats with full leather adjustable headrests. Unfortunately, that's about where it ends as far as economy refurbishments go.

It comes just months after Emirates' new first class cabin, now featuring fully enclosed private suites, was put into commercial use for the first time.

The new cabins were first revealed at the Dubai Airshow in November for the Boeing 777-300ER now operating on the Dubai to Brussels route.

The revamp to the 777s has come at a cost of over $150m for the 10 existing 777-200LR aircraft in Emirates' fleet.

The newly-refurbished planes will now offer 38 business class seats and 264 in economy class.

The first refurbished aircraft will take to the skies on March 6, heading for Fort Lauderdale. The remaining aircraft will be retrofitted over the course of the year.