The first Middle Eastern carrier to create a premium economy class, Emirates will offer the new product on routes to London, Paris and Sydney from this summer. Rose Dykins reports
The highly anticipated premium economy class from Emirates will arrive this summer when the airline receives its new A380 aircraft. The cabin will be available on A380 routes to London Heathrow, Paris and Sydney from August, with Christchurch following in December.
This will make Emirates the only airline in the Middle East with a premium economy cabin. The product is said to rival some airlines’ business class offering in terms of its onboard service, its seat and its in-flight experience.
Tim Clark, president of Emirates, says: “As with everything we do, Emirates Premium Economy will be exceptional in its class, with minute attention given to every aspect of the customer experience.
“Customers trading up from Economy will be getting excellent value. We currently have six A380s equipped with this cabin class, which limits our initial deployment, but our intention is to offer this experience to many more markets across our network.” From November 2022, Emirates will begin retrofitting of 67 A380 planes and 53 Boeing 777 aircraft from its existing fleet with the premium economy cabin – creating 126 aircraft across its network that will offer the new product once the process is complete.
After making use of a dedicated check in area at Dubai International airport, premium economy passengers with Emirates will benefit from an elevated in-flight experience – with the standout feature being the comfort of the new cabin seat.Configured in a 2-4-2 layout, and located towards the front of the plane, the cabin’s cream quilted leather seats offer 40 inches of legroom as well as cushioned leg rests, adjustable pillowed headrests and a deeper recline than economy class.
The seat also has a retractable wood grain table that folds out from the side, and there is a side table for placing drinks.Premium economy passengers will also benefit from a premium in-flight dining experience, with a monthly changing menu offering regional cuisine – served on Royal Doulton china – and extra options that aren’t available to economy passengers.
In terms of in-flight entertainment (IFE), Emirates premium economy passengers have the same product as economy passengers. The new A380s, feature 13.3-inch HD screens, Emirates’ new IFE system, a higher-speed wifi service than the airline’s previous offering, and the option to connect passengers’ headphones to the IFE via bluetooth.