Emirates to embark on hugely ambitious A380 and 777 cabin interior refurbishment project

Emirates will officially commence a multi-billion dollar project to upgrade the entire interior cabins of its 120 Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft in November.

The project will be managed entirely by Emirates Engineering.

The company is aiming to completely retrofit four Emirates aircraft from start to finish every month, continuously for more than years.

Once the 67 earmarked A380s are refreshed and back in service, 53 777s will undergo a retrofit. This will see nearly 4,000 new Premium Economy seats installed, 728 First Class suites refurbished and over 5,000 Business Class seats upgraded to a new style and design when the project is complete in April 2025.

Emirates said carpets and stairs would also be upgraded, and cabin interior panels refreshed with new tones and design motifs including the ghaf trees which are native to the UAE.

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Emirates Engineering said it had been planning and testing extensively to establish and streamline processes, and identify and address any possible snags. Trials began on an A380 in July, with engineers taking each cabin apart piece-by-piece, logging every step. From removing seats and panelling to bolts and screws, every action was tested, timed and mapped out, Emirates said.

Potential impediments to completing the installation of Emirates’ new Premium Economy class or the retrofit of the remaining three cabins in 16 days were flagged and documented for review.

As part of the programme, new purpose-built workshops will be set up at Emirates Engineering to repaint, re-trim and re-upholster Business and Economy Class seats with new covers and cushioning. First Class suites will be disassembled and sent to a specialised company to replace the leather, arm rests and other materials.

According to Emirates, engineers discovered several unexpected solutions during the trials. For instance, existing food catering trucks could be easily repurposed to move parts destined for refurbishment from the aircraft to the workshop for their refresh, as these vehicles had doors of the right width and offer sufficient space.

Until the retrofit programme starts in November, a cross-disciplinary team has been assembled to regularly review the planning process, address any issues, and track updates on various aspects of the project such as procurement, staffing and training.

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