Emirates’ much-awaited new premium economy cabin arrived with the airline’s latest addition to its A380 fleet last week. Meanwhile, until more planes fitted with the product arrive, the experience will only be available as a complimentary upgrade for the airline’s loyal economy customers.
Just two days ago, Emirates revealed its new premium economy cabin. Having remained a closely guarded secret for months, the airline’s break from its three-class cabin debuted on its newest A380 aircraft delivered from Hamburg last week.
The premium economy cabin seats 56 passengers in a 2-4-2 layout. The seats have 40 inches of pitch, a width of 19.5 inches, and an eight-inch recline. They all come with seat-back IFE featuring a 13.3-inch full HD screen and tray tables that extend from the armrest. However, there is a catch – for now, you won’t be able to buy them.
Experience only available as complimentary upgrade
In a press release issued Tuesday, Emirates President Tim Clark said that until the much-awaited addition to the airline’s products will be more widely available, it will only be offered as an upgrade for loyal economy customers.
“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,” Mr Clark said in the statement seen by Simple Flying.
Details on routes to follow
Which routes will be operated by the decked-out new double-decker is not yet clear. The airline said it will return with more details on which routes it will operate its premium economy A380 in the coming weeks.
Only a few of Emirates’ 117 A380s are currently flying. The exact number has fluctuated since this summer. However, at the moment, all evidence points to 14 of them being active. The airline is deploying them on services from Dubai to Amsterdam, Amman, Cairo, Paris, London Heathrow, and Guangzhou.
The UAE flag-carrier had initially intended to deploy its flagship aircraft to São Paulo for a three-week period in January 2021. However, the decision to fly the A380 to Brazil was recently reversed due to what the airline cited were operational reasons.
Five more A380s over two years
While a lovely boon to loyal customers, it is sad news for anyone who is not an Emirates frequent flyer hoping to try out the airline’s newest product right away. Emirates’ final five A380s that will all feature the new premium economy cabin are expected to arrive with the carrier over the next two years.
Two will join the fleet in 2021, and three in 2022. It is yet unclear with which arrival Emirates’ premium economy will become available in earnest. Hopefully, by then, increased demand will see the Dubai-based carrier’s flagship once more operating something closer to its pre-pandemic spectrum of routes.
Are you looking forward to trying out Emirates’ new premium economy when it becomes available? Let us know in the comments.