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TRAVEL: First class air travel making a comeback infographic
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Popularity of first class air travel on the up

Graphic News

October 24, 2018 -- First-class air travel fell sharply as the 2008 financial crisis curbed corporate spending. A decade on, long-haul operators are reintroducing first-class cabins costing more than $10,000 for a round-trip ticket.

First-class air travel has long been the playground of the rich and famous, with champagne and caviar in the early years, to private cabins with a bed and shower on some carriers today.

However, in 2000, British Airways set a precedent that quickly spread throughout the industry -- lie-flat seats in business class for thousands of dollars less than first-class.

Now Emirates is setting a new level of luxury with its Airbus A380 Private Suite with ambient lighting and a private cinema where travellers can enjoy free-flowing drinks and canapés served by a dedicated bartender.

The crew will convert the seat into a fully flat bed and make up the sheets, while passengers can use a Shower Spa to prepare for arrival.

Long-haul airlines say charging $10,000-plus for a premium round-trip ticket is as profitable as a dozen seats in standard or two in business, with the first-class seat occupying far less space.

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