LONDON – The engineering wing of Dubai-based Emirates Airline, has completed the refit of its second Boeing 777-200(LR).
The conversion of the aircraft brings the cabin configuration down from three classes down to two, Economy and Business Class only.
The Business Class seats, as previously announced by the airline, have been installed in a 2-2-2 configuration, while Economy is set up in a 3-4-3, 10-abreast layout.
The first reconfigured 777-200(LR) took to the skies back in March of this year, deployed on the routes to Fort Lauderdale and Santiago.
The Retrofit Project’s Details
The $150 million investment that Emirates is making is due to be completed by mid-2019 as an additional eight of the aircraft type are to undergo the cabin reconfiguration process.
Emirates Engineering dedicated 22 months of work to take from the blueprints to the first two planes the brand-new cabin.
According to the airline, they managed to retrofit the second plane in just 35 days, compared to the 55 days that the first aircraft required. Emirates Engineering hopes that this number will reduce with the following airplanes.
Emirates says the process included detailed work to outline specifications, review designs and layout, manage procurement, contracts with suppliers, secure regulatory approvals, maintain a stock of raw materials, management of workflows, timelines and resources in the run-up to grounding the aircraft and converting the interiors.
The design and workflow processes were approved by both the FAA and GCAA to modify the aircraft from its original design. Emirates Engineering worked with over 30 suppliers to complete the work necessary.
During the process, they also had to provide the necessary safety checks to get the aircraft back into commercial service.
The carrier had to test the cabin components: EMI Electro-magnetic interference and air-flow testing inside the cabin, as well as a five-hour test flight with the simulation of various flight scenarios and in-flight fire and smoke testing.
Overall, Emirates dedicated over 16,000 man hours into this retrofit project.
The Engineering branch is responsible for a fleet of 260 planes. And through the spread of 136 acres, their facilities are all capable of handling the A380.