Emirates Boeing 777 First Class Review (Larnaca-Malta)

Emirates is renowned for having one of the world’s best First Class products. In this review, we try out the airline’s older Boeing 777 First Class on a short Emirates fifth-freedom flight from Cyprus to Malta.

Flight Details

Flight number EK109
Route Larnaca (LCA) to Malta (MLA)
Aircraft type Boeing 777-300ER
Class of travel First
Seat number 1K
Route on-time performance 97% (my flight was on time)
Star rating 4.5 stars out of 5

The route

EK109 route map

Flight Cost

I booked this as a Classic Flight Reward booking using Qantas points. At the time of booking, the price was 36,000 Qantas points + $269.30 in taxes, fees and carrier charges (well, almost entirely Emirates carrier charges!). Since 18 September 2019, the price has increased to 41,500 Qantas points. If you were to pay for a ticket on this flight, the price would be around $1,700-$2,100.

Airport Experience

As I had booked before the changes to Emirates Chauffeur Drive back in March, I was eligible to use the complimentary chauffeur service from my hotel to Larnaca International Airpot, which worked well. Unfortunately, Emirates now only offers this service to Business and First passengers if you buy a commercial ticket (and not if you’re on an award booking made using Qantas points or Emirates Skywards miles).

Check-in was a breeze and I was directed to use the fast-track lane for outbound immigration.

If you fly Emirates First Class out of Dubai, you’ll get access to the excellent Emirates First Lounge. Unfortunately, the only lounge available at this Emirates outstation was the Aspire Aphrodite Lounge, which is a Priority Pass lounge. As far as European lounges go, this lounge was actually pretty good. There were plenty of seats, including an outdoor smoking section, as well as clean bathrooms, newspapers, wifi and a small selection of buffet food & drinks available. The lounge staff were friendly, too. But it definitely wasn’t in the same league as the Emirates First Lounge in Dubai.

Aspire Aphrodite Lounge, Larnaca
Aspire Aphrodite Lounge, Larnaca

 

Aspire Aphrodite Lounge, Larnaca
Aspire Aphrodite Lounge, Larnaca

The Hard Product

Our Boeing 777 at Larnaca Airport
Emirates Boeing 777 at Larnaca Airport

Emirates uses the same First Class seats on its Airbus A380s and older Boeing 777-300ERs, except that there is no bar or showers on the Boeing 777. There are two rows of First Class on this aircraft in a 1-2-1 layout.

A small number of Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft have the new First suites in a 1-1-1 configuration. This configuration is not used for the Larnaca and Malta flights.

On my flight, the spacious suite is extremely comfortable and private. I’m in seat 1K and have three windows to look out of, as well as a mini-bar filled with non-alcoholic drinks by the window.

The Emirates 777 First Class seat reclines to become a fully-flat bed, and the suite has sliding doors that can be opened or closed at the push of a button. This is certainly a luxurious way to fly!

Sliding doors on the Emirates First suite
Sliding doors on the Emirates First suite

The TV screen is large and the Emirates ICE in-flight entertainment content is always extensive. I’m provided with noise-cancelling headphones which worked a treat.

The Soft Product

After being escorted to my seat, the lovely Japanese flight attendant looking after First Class introduced herself and offered a pre-departure drink, followed by newspapers, magazines, dates and Arabic coffee. Before takeoff, the Maltese purser came around to introduce herself too.

Pre-departure espresso martini with nuts
Pre-departure espresso martini with nuts

There was only one other passenger in First Class, so the service was very attentive. Things began with a hot towel, Dom Perignon 2009 champagne and more warm nuts.

This was followed by lunch. As this was only a short flight of just under 3 hours, there was no caviar service. But the food was all very nice and my salmon main course was cooked perfectly.

There was a very impressive wine list, as well as an extensive range of quality spirits available including Hennessy Paradis cognac and Johnnie Walker Black whiskey. Here is the wine list…

Emirates First Class wine list

Emirates First Class wine list

Emirates First Class wine list

Being a short daytime flight, no pyjamas or amenity kits were provided. But amenities were available on request and there was a notebook and pen at the seat.

Arrival Experience

We were treated to some great views as we landed on time in Malta.

Landing in Malta
Landing in Malta

There are no airbridges at Malta International Airport, so we disembarked onto buses but there was a separate bus just for First and Business passengers.

I was able to use the chauffeur service again upon arrival in Malta. When I approached my driver he seemed to do a double-take as if to be thinking “how on earth are you in first class?!”. Admittedly, I’m probably a lot younger than the average person using this service and was wearing a t-shirt and jeans…

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER First Class
  • Airport Experience
  • Hard Product
  • Soft Product
4.5

Final thoughts

The Emirates First Class service was simply wonderful. Being a relatively short fifth-freedom sector, I didn’t quite get the full lounge and food experience. But this was still a very comfortable and luxurious way to fly… and well worth the Qantas points.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]

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Parag

Hi – Great Article – thanks for sharing your experience knowledge.

I have a query – when I searched for this particular route in Qantas.com website for booking in various ways, it didn’t seem to even recognize either of the airports and hence I wasn’t able to initiate a search for for this route.

Any guidance on how to proceed?

Thanks,
Parag