Emirates, on Tuesday, announced the deployment of the Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, fitted with ‘Game Changer’ First Class suites, on its route between Male' and Dubai starting from June 1.
The deployment will make Velana International Airport (VIA) the first South Asian destination to be regularly served by the new aircraft.
Speaking regarding the upgrade, Emirates’ Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for West Asia and the Indian Ocean Ahmed Khoory noted that Maldives was becoming increasingly popular among the airline's customers.
"Introducing the new Boeing 777 with the state-of-the-art first class suites on this route reaffirms our longstanding commitment to Malé. It’s also a testament to our ongoing efforts to provide our travellers across the network with an unparalleled experience, demonstrating what Emirates truly means when it invites customers to fly better".
Passengers travelling to and from Maldives on EK658 and EK659, which constitute one of the three daily Emirates services connecting Malé with Dubai, can now experience the fully-enclosed first class private suites inspired by luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz.
The flight EK658 departs daily from Dubai at 0420 hrs and arrives in Malé at 0930 hrs. Meanwhile, the return flight EK659 leaves Malé at 1100 hrs and arrives in Dubai at 1400 hrs.
First class, business and economy class cabins aboard the Boeing 777 aircraft feature ergonomically designed seats, multi-million dollar upgrades and the latest version of the ice inflight entertainment system.
Seats installed in the new seats can be reclined into a completely flat-bed, manoeuvred into multiple positions and placed in a 'zero-gravity' state inspired by NASA technology to create a weightless feeling for passengers. Additionally, a range of lighting colours are available and temperatures can be adjusted.
Additionally, the industry’s first virtual windows, which project a view from outside the aircraft using real-time fibre-optic camera technology, can be experienced by customers seated in suites located in the middle aisle.
Crafted to facilitate customer comfort and privacy, the flight's private possess feature floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and ultra-modern design features against a cool grey colour scheme. Each of the six fully-enclosed private suites will offer up to 40 square feet of personal space each and are laid out in a 1-1-1 configuration.
Business class seats are inspired by the interior of modern sports cars, and feature an ergonomically designed headrest with a sleek look and feel. The cabin also includes privacy panels between seats, a shoe storage area, footrest, and a personal mini-bar. Business class passengers can customise their travel experience with touchscreen controls for their seats, inflight entertainment and adjust their personal lighting options.
The colour palette featured in the economy class cabins consists of soft greys and blues. The seats come with flexible leather headrests with side panels that can be adjusted vertically for optimum support.
Emirates currently operates the Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft to Brussels, Geneva, Vienna, Tokyo, London Stansted and Riyadh. The flights fitted with the ‘Game Changer' first class suites will also be deployed to Kuwait from June 1, 2019, as well.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777 family of aircraft and currently operates more than 160 of these flights to six continents from Dubai.
Within the 32 years that Emirates has served Maldives, the airline has played a significant role in the tourism industry's growth by connecting Malé with its continually expanding global network of destinations via Dubai.
Emirates is set to manage four daily services to Male starting from October 27, 2019, to March 28, 2020, according to its winter schedule.