Emirates’ Airbus A380 With Premium Economy Bound For London

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Emirates has decided to send its newest Airbus A380 aircraft with all new cabins to London-Heathrow. From January 4th, the latest Airbus A380 to enter the Dubai-based carrier’s fleet will be operating one daily roundtrip flight between the two major cities.

Emirates Airbus A380
Emirates is flying its newest Airbus A380 to London-Heathrow. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | JFKJets.com

Emirates sending its newest A380 to London

From January 4th, EK003/004 will be operated by the newest Airbus A380 to enter the Emirates fleet. The flight departs Dubai daily at 14:30 local time and arrives in London-Heathrow at 18:20 local time. The return flight is an overnight red-eye, leaving London-Heathrow at 20:20 local time and reaching Dubai the next morning at 07:20.

There are currently five daily flights heading to London-Heathrow from Dubai on Emirates. Of these, four are operated with an Airbus A380. One of which will feature a premium economy cabin.

The new Airbus A380

Emirates has currently received one Airbus A380 with a brand new premium economy cabin. The 56-seat cabin is laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration. Each seat offers up to 40-inches of pitch and is 19.5 inches wide. The recline on each seat is eight inches.

The new premium economy cabin
The new premium economy cabin onboard an Emirates A380. Photo: Emirates

Alongside the new premium economy cabin, Emirates also updated the rest of its cabins. In first class, the airline offers 14 suites that are slightly wider and feature taller doors for more privacy and comfort. The onboard bathroom featuring a shower also received a refreshed design and modern fittings.

The refreshed bathroom with shower on the Airbus A380. Photo: Emirates

In business class, the 76 seats have remained in the same style and configuration. However, it has received a design update with champagne-colored leather and wood finishing, which is similar to what the airline offers on its newer Boeing 777s.

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Emirates A380 J
The updated business class cabin on the Airbus A380. Photo: Emirates

Lastly, in economy, all 338 seats have received a new ergonomic design with full leather headrests and flexible side panels. This seat is a “step up,” according to Emirates, from its Boeing 777 economy seats.

Premium economy is not for sale yet

Emirates only has one Airbus A380 with premium economy. Until more of its jets receive the new cabin, Emirates will only offer these seats as spot upgrades for its customers on a discretionary basis.

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Premium economy accents
Emirates has touched up accents across the aircraft. Photo: Emirates

The airline will not be selling tickets for premium economy until it can ensure its customers will be able to fly premium economy. A last-minute aircraft swap could mean Emirates’ customers are no longer flying a plane with premium economy, which can lead to issues about where to place those passengers on the new aircraft. All other cabins will be available for booking.

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Why London?

The UK right now is a bit of a pariah amid the ongoing health crisis after discovering a new strain of the virus sent governments scrambling to clamp down on arrivals from the UK, or else force travelers to adhere to strict testing or quarantines on or before arrival.

For Emirates, London is one of the most important destinations for the carrier. It is a massive hub for leisure and business travel, not to mention that the city has plenty of cargo demand.

China Southern, Airbus A380, London Heathrow
Emirates is flying multiple daily flights to London. Photo: Getty Images

Even though the United Kingdom also has significant barriers to entry, Emirates is deploying this aircraft with refreshed cabins on a route where it hopes to earn a bit of a competitive advantage compared to some of its peers, even if it cannot fill all the seats onboard the plane.

Dubai, however, is open for international business and leisure visitors. Emirates is spending millions of dollars to show the world that they can travel to the city and enjoy the plethora of offerings in Dubai. Emirates is hoping to get a decent number of travelers looking for a Middle Eastern vacation to fly them to Dubai.

Are you going to fly Emirates’ newest Airbus A380 between London-Heathrow and Dubai? Let us know in the comments!

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