Following weeks of rumors and news leaks, Emirates Airlines (EK) finally revealed its new Premium Economy product. The first aircraft to feature the new cabin is Airbus A380-800 A6-EVN, which the Dubai-based carrier received on December 23 from the manufacturer’s Hamburg plant. All remaining five A380s on order (scheduled to arrive over 2021 and 2022) will have it, together with the Boeing 777-9s expected for 2023, The airline in considering plans to retrofit the existing A380 fleet, while no decision has been communicated regarding the upcoming fleets of Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350-900.
“Our Premium Economy product was carefully developed in keeping with Emirates’ brand positioning as a full-service airline of the highest quality. Our First, Business and Economy experiences reset industry standards when they were introduced, and we are confident that our Premium Economy will also make its mark as a distinct premium offering. Until we have a viable number of seats in our inventory to bring to market, we plan to offer the Emirates Premium Economy experience as a complimentary upgrade to valued customers. We’ll also deploy our newest A380 aircraft on various routes so that our customers can experience our latest offering in all classes” commented Sir Tim Clark, Emirates’ CEO.
While information regarding where the aircraft featuring the Premium Economy will fly during 2021 will be revealed in the weeks to come, details regarding the new cabin have been fully released. On the A380, the Premium Economy cabin is located at the front of the main deck, with 56 seats in a 2+4+2 layout and three dedicated lavatories. The seat pitch is particularly generous at 40 inches, as is the IFE screen width at 13.3 inches. The Recaro PL3530 seat (which is already available on some other airlines, like China Southern and Vistara) is 19.5 inches-wide and reclines 8 inches into a comfortable cradle position.
Covered in cream-coloured anti-stain leather with stitching details and a wood panel finishing similar to Business Class, each seat is finished with a 6-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and footrests. Customers will also find easily accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table.
‘Soft’ product contents, including service, amenities, food and drinks have not been revealed, yet, although it is intended that dining service will be upgraded from that delivered in Economy Class.
Emirates is the first airline in the Gulf to introduce a Premium Economy cabin. As a result, its four-class A380s will have 14 seats in First and 76 seats in Business on the upper deck, with 56 seats in Premium Economy and 336 seats in Economy on the main deck. (Header photo Wikimedia Commons / Simon Sees)