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Published on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Emirates is now ready to sell its premium economy seats. Flying on new delivery A380s since early 2021, the carrier now owns six aircraft with the seats on board. That’s enough for the first three routes to launch later this summer, with more to come as further aircraft retrofits occur.
From 1 June 2022, Emirates will offer the premium economy cabin for sale on routes between its Dubai and London, Paris, and Sydney. The first official flights with the cabin will operate from 1 August, 2022. Christchurch, New Zealand will be the next market added, from December, as aircraft conversions move forward.
Launching Premium Retrofit
The current fleet of six aircraft of Emirates fitted with premium economy seats will not be broad enough to operate the premium economy cabin on all flights on those routes. But Emirates plans for 120 aircraft (67 A380, 53 777s) to see the new product installed in less than 18 months, which will start in November 2022. This relatively aggressive pace of premium economy retrofits should allow Emirates to quickly meet the needs of the launch markets and more.
Every product launch has its own target market and who will travel. Also worth noting that Emirates previously promised the seats would be on sale by December 2021. At that time the target markets were JFK, Heathrow, Paris and Frankfurt. Shifting the long-haul to Australia from the United States makes some sense as Australia is now reopened to visitors; that was not the case at the time of the last planned sales.
Many of the hard product details are already known. Emirates use a customized version of a Recaro premium economy seat on board. This includes wood panel finishing similar to Business Class seats and 6-way adjustable headrests. The seats are pitched at 40 inches, and are 19.5 inches wide. Recline reaches 8 inches into a comfortable cradle position with calf rests and footrests for additional comfort. In-seat charging points and a small side table for drinks help complete the offering. With the transition from a “surprise and delight” offering to selling the premium economy product on set routes, Emirates is also updating many of the other bits that make up a premium economy offering.
In flight experiences
The passengers will receive a blanket and larger pillow, for example, as well as an amenity kit that comes in a reusable bag. The in-flight dining experience will include a welcome drink served in glass. Meals will be served on chinaware, with stainless steel cutlery and a linen napkin. Emirates also promises premium wines and a sparkling Chandon wine option. The passengers departing Dubai in premium economy also have access to a dedicated check-in area in the terminal. That does not appear to be the case in the outstations, however.
On the 777s five rows of Economy class seats located just behind Business Class will be removed to install 24 Premium Economy seats, laid out in 2-4-2 configuration. On the A380s 56 Premium Economy seats will installed at the front of the main deck also in 2-4-2 configuration.