Emirates To Offer Premium Economy From Next Year

Emirates first foray into the world of Premium Economy will begin next year, as reported by the thenational.ae. The Middle Eastern airline intends to place the class onboard it’s Airbus A380 fleet first, before rolling it out to its Boeing 777-300ER fleet too. It is assumed that their new 777X aircraft will have the class upon delivery.

Emirates premium economy
Emirates Premium Economy is coming next year. Photo: Simpleflying.com

What is Emirates Premium Economy like?

Earlier this year, Simple Flying reporter Tom Boom reported what the new class seat might look like.

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

It will have more leg room, better food, bigger entertainment screen, and extra check-in luggage. Pretty standard stuff for this class category, but new territory for Emirates.

Tim Clark, the CEO of Emirates, spoke of the new class at a recent Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, shedding light on what could be the next big thing for Middle Eastern airlines.

The CEO described how he and his team were hands-on during the design process, using digital tools to shape and ‘club-ify’ the class to make it as bespoke as possible for Emirates. They worked with both Airbus and Boeing to choose material finishes, patterns, wood grain and textures for the class.

Emirates A380
The class will first appear on the Emirates A380. Photo: Emirates

One disadvantage that we can see, however, is if the plane is not very full those in normal Economy might be able to lie down across 2-3 seats, whilst Premium Economy passengers will be unable to move the armrest.

How much will it cost?

Whilst Mr Clark was not quick to mention specific pricing, he did say that it would be “well below business class fares”. One of the issues that were mentioned when the class was first announced was whether or not it would cannibalize existing business class sales for the airline. After all, if its almost as good as Business, then why bother paying the extra money?

If you’re flying Business you wouldn’t now trade a lie-flat bed for a sleeperette,” – Tim Clark

As such there are a few things kept in reserve for the business class, namely lie-flat beds. The Emirates Premium Economy will only have ‘lounge recliners’ that only go halfway to flat. Additionally, it is likely that Business will retain a different food and beverage menu.

The new business cabin onboard the Emirates Boeing 777-200LR. Source: Emirates

When will we see the class onboard?

Emirates plans to roll out the new class first on their A380 fleet.

Mr. Clark remarked that he “always been a big believer in the A380” but was sad to change their orders earlier this year to a mixed fleet of A330neos and A350s, as Airbus shut down the A380 program.

As for the Boeing 777 fleet, considering Emirates is currently renovating the 777-300ER fleet with a new business class (and just finished the 777-200LR fleet), it might take some time.

It is not known the exact date of the debut of the new class, not how long it will take to overhaul the entire Emirates fleet.

Are you excited to fly on the new Emirates Premium Economy? Or will you skip it and upgrade to Business? Let us know in the comments!