President of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark, revealed today in a media roundtable that the airline’s stunning premium economy cabin will be going on sale from June next year. By then, Emirates will have six A380s fitted with the product, and will fly it on its longest routes where it believes the demand will lie.
Premium economy launching in June
Emirates has been flying its new premium economy product on several of its newest A380s for some months now. But, at present, the cabin cannot be booked specifically. Travelers simply get lucky if they book the right seats and have the right aircraft rostered on their service. But all that is set to change in time for the summer next year, as Emirates President Sir Tim Clark revealed today.
In response to a question from Simple Flying, Clark said,
“We will actually put premium economy on the market in June next year. By that time, we will have six A380s, and we’re planning and working out where exactly we’re going to fly them. Obviously, it comes into its own on the long range missions.”
Clark gave examples of connecting itineraries between London and Sydney as being prime candidates for the product. In a previous conversation with Simple Flying, he said that he wanted the availability of the product to reach ‘critical mass’ before putting it on sale. Today, he gave some color on what the delay to the sale launch was all about. He said,
“The critical path in the timeline of this is information technology. There is a huge IT requirement in terms of the reservation systems, the departure control systems, the customer facing systems … once you introduce something like that, it causes an iterative change out in all sorts of things. So IT have been busy building the coding to make all those systems interact.”
Once everything comes together, both in terms of the IT requirements and the delivery of its final A380s, Emirates will be ready to open up the cabin to the world. There’s no word on the price point for the product as yet.
Done an Emirates on it
Up close and personal, the A380 premium economy is really something special. The seats themselves are well thought out, with comfortable leg rests, fully adjustable headrests and one of the best tray table arrangements of any premium economy out there. But it’s the finish that really sells this cabin, giving it a breathtaking appearance the moment passengers step inside.
With the padded cream leather and the wood effect finish on the cabin walls, you could almost be looking at a section of a private jet. The airline has really gone to town to make this something very special, and it’s been attracting a lot of attention at the Dubai Airshow this week. Clark noted,
“There has been an extraordinary level of interest in it. And many people have said they’ve never seen any premium economy like it. We are very happy to say that we have ‘done an Emirates’ on it.”
Emirates announced earlier today that it intends to fit the product on a huge number of both its A380s and its 777 jets. This decision is somewhat spurred by the delays to the 777X, a situation that is forcing the Dubai airline to keep more of its older aircraft for longer. But more premium economy is great news for passengers, as will be the ability to book these seats from June next year.