The real estate available on the Airbus A380 has enabled airlines to do something pretty different and amazing. Singapore Airlines was the first carrier to receive the aircraft, and had a new Suites cabin available only on the A380. Korean Air has a “shopping” area where they display duty free items. But by far the most popular “option” is the inclusion of an onboard bar and lounge.
No onboard bar is more famous than Emirates’, at least in the eyes of the general public. Emirates showcases the onboard lounge in many of their ads, and as the carrier with the most A380 in their fleet, it’s hardly surprising that their product is so well known.
The are a few variants to the Emirates A380 onboard bar. For example, some include flower displays on the side walls, while some have lit-up landmarks of Dubai. There are benches along the windows on each side, and high “bar tables” that are installed over the emergency exits. By and large, it’s the same design with a color scheme that fits with the aircraft’s cabins.
But it looks like Emirates is refreshing the look of the bar, and the design language might be hinting at what a cabin refresh might look like. Tim Clark, President of Emirates, says in a press release:
Since we first launched the product in 2008, our A380 Onboard Lounge has gone through small but successive enhancements in line with customer feedback to increase the amount of space for our customers to interact in the lounge. In our latest revamp, we have taken inspiration from private yacht cabins, and amongst other thoughtful touches, we have increased the seating space, and also made it more intimate and conducive for our passengers to socialise or enjoy our lounge service.
Here is what the refreshed onboard bar/lounge looks like:
The onboard lounge now feels dramatically less “blingy,” and the finishes are more subtle, which is also much more welcoming in my opinion. I also like that there are now actual tables that accompany the seats, so you would actually have a place to set down your drinks and snacks when sitting by the windows. It’s definitely more understated luxury than in your face gold, and I’m a big fan.
The new onboard lounge is already being installed, and will start flying in July 2017. Perhaps even more exciting to me, though, is that Emirates has previously said that they are refreshing their First Class cabins on the A380 to look more like what cabins would be like on a private yacht. If the refreshed onboard lounge indicates the direction where Emirates is heading, I’d be really interested and excited to see what the new premium cabin offerings would be like.