I know that EK's 10-abreast Y class seating on their 777s has been discussed many times on these forums, but I want to look at this topic from a different perspective.
Having flown on the 777s of EK and QR in long-haul trips several times in the past few years, all in Y class, I used to prefer EK for having a better transit experience. This changed last May when I was flying on EK 225, DXB-SFO, a 77W, in Y class; in terms of both leg room and seat width, I felt cramped in my seat throughout the whole flight. This is probably because before that flight, the majority of my flights in Y class on the EK 777s have been in a seat that is part of one of the pairs of seats at the back of the plane, which feel less cramped, while on that last flight I was in a left-side window seat that was next to two other seats. On the other hand, on all of my flights on QR 777s in Y class, which have 9-abreast seating, I never felt cramped, in terms of both leg room and seat width.
A lot of passengers just care about getting the cheapest fare when choosing an airline to fly on; however, based on passenger opinions I've read on the web, there is a significant amount of passengers that dislike the 10-abreast seating on EK's 777s, who prefer to fly on airlines that have 9-abreast Y class seating on their 777s. By now I prefer to fly on QR's 777s if I have to fly in Y class, simply because I want to feel comfortable during my travels.
Since EK aims to have a huge presence in the world-wide airline industry, what if they decided to change the Y class seating on their 777s to 9-abreast with more seat width and slightly more leg room in order to gain the business of travelers who prefer to have a more comfortable Y class experience? This might mean that they would need to increase the number of Y class seats at the expense of the number of seats in J class and/or F class in order to maintain a good amount of revenue from Y class, but in the long run I think that it could be a positive move from a marketing perspective.
[Edited 2011-09-09 23:36:14]