When Will Emirates Launch Their Premium Economy Product?

The forthcoming Emirates’ premium economy cabin is hotly anticipated by many travellers. For a long time, the Middle Eastern carrier has refused to include a fourth class, however, things are set to change. While many details are being kept under wraps, Simple Flying shares what it knows so far.

Emirates Premium Economy Seat Cabin
The carrier is due to launch a new premium economy cabin. Photo: Emirates

A premium economy cabin can be one of the most lucrative cabins onboard an aircraft. This is because the service improvement over economy costs the airline relatively little. However, the airline is able to charge a huge markup on the seats, although it can be challenging to market the seats just right.

What seat will Emirates launch?

Emirates’ new premium economy seat is predicted to be the Haeco Eclipse seat. The seat is being marketed as a “short-haul business class and long-haul premium economy” product, which would fit Emirates’ needs. However, there is even more reason to think it could be the new premium economy seat for Emirates.

The Haeco Eclipse seat already has a launch customer lined up. This has been described as “an as yet unnamed Middle East-based airline”. Deliveries of the seat are scheduled to commence in Q1 of 2020. Could Emirates be that unnamed launch customer?

Emirates Premium Economy Seat Cabin
The new HAECO Eclipse seat. Could this be the new premium economy seat? Photo: HAECO

When will the new cabin debut?

Emirates is yet to give a date for the launch of its new cabin. However, by all accounts, the new cabin is set to launch in early 2020. This is per the airline’s CEO Tim Clark himself according to Traveller.

However, this only adds to the suspicion that Emirates is the launch customer for the Haeco Eclipse seat. It seems too good to be a coincidence that the carrier will be launching their new cabin around the same time that Haeco will be delivering their first seats to an unidentified Middle East carrier.

Video of the day:

Emirates Premium Economy Seat Cabin
Emirates is expected to launch its Premium Economy cabin in early 2020. Photo: Emirates

The challenges of implementing premium economy

You may think its fairly simple to implement a new cabin onboard the aircraft. Indeed, why isn’t it as simple as just taking out some seats and putting others in? Well, the carrier needs to carefully consider the passengers they are targetting, and the reason for the cabin.

The premium economy cabin will allow Emirates to charge more to passengers who want more than economy, but aren’t happy paying for business. Indeed, according to Lufthansa, revenue per square meter is 33% more in premium economy than in economy.

The challenge here is to encourage economy passengers to upgrade. However, if the airline makes the cabin too nice, it may have the potential to downgrade some business passengers. This is something that the airline is keen to avoid according to CEO Tim Clark.

Are you excited for Emirates’ new premium economy cabin? Let us know in the comments!

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Nigel

It looks magnificent!
On the A380, I wonder will they put it upstairs at the back (2-2-2/2-3-2?) or downstairs at the front (2-3-2/2-4-2?)?
I consider Emirates fares to be very competitive already (understatement), so premium economy on Emirates may turn out to be about the same price as economy on conventional carriers such as BA, Singapore and Qantas.

Iwan Ang

It looks very similar to other premium economy in terms of recline and space, especially the one launched by Eva years ago. Air NZ seems to have a better spec. I’m hoping Emirates will exceed existing standards, else they are just playing catch up.