Emirates Finishes Boeing 777-200 Refresh, Retires Classic 777-300 Fleet

An Emirates Boeing 777-200LR in Las Vegas. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Emirates Airline has completed a $150 million reconfiguration of its Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, the airline’s smallest twin-engine aircraft, retrofitting the entirety of its 10 aircraft fleet in just over a year. The renovations to the type included removing the first class cabin, revamping the economy class cabin and reconfiguring the business class cabin.

The highlight of the dash 200LR’s refresh is the refined business class cabin, which now features a 2-2-2 paired configuration instead of the higher density 2-3-2 configuration. Although the higher density configuration is still found on the airline’s larger Boeing 777-300ER fleet, the elimination of the middle seat on the 777-200 allows for a business class seat that’s two-inches wider than its predecessor, according to the airline.

Emirates’ new 2-2-2 configured business class on the Boeing 777-200LR. (Photo: Emirates Airline)

The new configuration will see 38 seats in business class and 264 seats in economy, increasing the total capacity of the aircraft by 36 seats. Despite the reduction of the middle seat in business class, capacity in the forward cabin will only be reduced by four seats from its previous configuration as the elimination of the first class cabin will allow for more rows to be added.

The paired seats will be staggered instead of straight across the aisle from the adjacent pair, providing a greater level of privacy aided by the seat’s large shell. The cabin will stretch from the forward boarding door to two rows behind the second boarding door, with the airline using the open middle space in the cabin as a social area where snacks, drinks and other offerings will be accessible to passengers mid-flight.

The new social area on Emirates’ reconfigured Boeing 777-200LRs. (Photo: Emirates Airline)

Economy class will remain in its 3-4-3 configuration, standard on Boeing 777s, although with 48 extra seats and some updates of its own. In addition to updated seat covers to reflect the airline’s color palette consisting of soft grey and blues, seats will feature adjustable leather headrests. Seats in Emirates’ economy typically feature 33-34-inches of pitch and 17-inches of width.

Refreshed economy class on the Boeing 777-200LR. (Photo: Emirates Airline)

Retiring a Classic

While Emirates’ Boeing 777-200s were receiving their upgrades, the airline was preparing to retire one of its older aircraft fleets, the Boeing 777-300 classic. One of the last operators of the non-extended range variant of the Boeing 777-300, Emirates recently took the final two still in its fleet out of commercial service.

The final two aircraft, registrations A6-EMX and A6-EMV, were delivered to Emirates 16 years ago in June and February, respectively. Both have been stored, according to Planespotters.net, following an illustrious career flying to destinations around the world for Emirates from the airline’s hub in Dubai.

The retirement of the older aircraft contributes to the airline’s designation as having one of the newest fleets for an airline. Now, the fleet will consist of only three aircraft types, the Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380, until the airline takes delivery of other widebodies such as the Airbus A350 XWB, Airbus A330neo and Boeing 777X in the future.

Thomas Pallini

Tom has been flying for as long as he can remember. His first flight memory was on a Song Airlines 757 flying from LaGuardia to Orlando. Back then, he was afraid to fly because he thought you needed to jump off the plane in order to get off. Some years later, Tom is now a seasoned traveler, often flying to places just for the fun of it. Most of the time, he'll never leave the airport on his trips. If he's not at home or at work as a Line Service Technician at Long Island MacArthur Airport, he's off flying somewhere, but only for the day.
Thomas Pallini