It’s been some time in the making, but it seems that Emirates is finally getting the message about premium economy seating and expanding its deployment.
This will add 105 more aircraft with the option.
The 18-month retrofit programme, scheduled to begin at the end of 2022, will be entirely conducted at Emirates’ Engineering Centre in Dubai.
Emirates Premium Economy seats are a variant of Recaro’s PL3530 premium seat.
It offers a seat pitch of up to 40-inches, at 19.5 inches wide, reclining 8 inches. The seat features accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and a side cocktail table. IFE is provisioned with a 13.3-inch personal seat-back screen.
For those who have been looking at the 777-300ER seating have thought it to be uncompetitive in a 2-2-2 formation – there’s more good news – The airline is also considering installing a brand new Business Class product on its Boeing 777 aircraft, with customised seats in a 1-2-1 layout.
Where will the premium economy seats be located?
On the Emirates Boeing 777, 5 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 Emirates A380, 56 Premium Economy seats will be installed at the front of the main deck also in 2-4-2 configuration.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said:
“Emirates is investing in this retrofit programme to ensure that we continue to serve our customers’ needs, and provide the best experiences in the sky. Since we introduced our Premium Economy seats a year back, we’ve received a hugely positive response. Customers have been amazed by the quality and comfort. As Emirates has done with our signature First, Business and full-service Economy travel experiences, we intend to further develop our Premium Economy into a distinctive Emirates experience that is unmatched in the industry. We are also considering a brand new Business Class product. More details will be revealed in due course.”
“It is also a source of pride that the entire retrofit project will be conducted at our home base in Dubai. It demonstrates the strong aviation capabilities that has been built up within Emirates airline and the broader UAE ecosystem to support such a highly specialised and technical programme.”
Towards 111 aircraft
At the end of the retrofit programme, Emirates will have a total of 111 Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft offering Premium Economy seats, including the 6 A380s that would have been delivered to the airline with four-cabin classes by December 2021.
By end of December 2021, Emirates’ A380s with Premium Economy will be operating on the airline’s flights to Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York JFK and Paris.
… And it is about time…
It’s finally welcoming to see Emirates no longer messing around with the idea of premium economy and actually embracing the class at long last.
Let’s be honest, there are some huge disparities between business class and economy class (both in service and cost) – where the premium economy class fits in nicely to offer the customer an upgraded experience compared to economy.
As airlines are recovering from one of the hardest periods they’ve been through, they’ll be relying on leisure travel to drive the recovery. However, as money tightens and business travel returns, passengers will still seek a premium experience when they can.
And that’s when the premium economy class kicks in.
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