Emirates is bringing premium economy to the Boeing 777
Emirates is bringing its new premium economy product to 105 additional Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s, the airline announced Tuesday at the Dubai Airshow.
The refit program kicks off in December 2022, with 52 A380s and 53 777s receiving the new product. On the 777, three rows of premium-economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration will replace five rows of economy-class seats aft of the business-class cabin, for a total of 24 seats.
Premium economy on the A380 also has a 2-4-2 configuration, located on the main (lower) deck of the aircraft, with 56 seats installed.
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Tuesday's announcement means Emirates plans a fleet of 111 aircraft with premium economy. Six of the Dubai-based carrier's A380s will have the product installed by the end of 2021.
Emirates premium economy features a leather seat with a pitch of up to 40 inches, a width of 19.5 inches and a recline of 8 inches into a cradle position, with leg and footrests. The seat features a 13.3-inch personal television, featuring Emirates' extensive ICE personal entertainment system.
“Emirates is investing in this retrofit program to ensure that we continue to serve our customers’ needs, and provide the best experiences in the sky," Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said in a statement. "Since we introduced our premium economy seats a year back, we’ve received a hugely positive response. Customers have been amazed by the quality and comfort."
Related: Emirates unveils ritzy new premium economy cabin aboard the A380
TPG’s senior aviation business reporter, David Slotnick, who is on site at the airshow, tried the seat out at a static display in the convention hall and said he thought they were the most comfortable premium-economy seats he’s tried.
The premium economy refits will be done entirely at Emirates' engineering center in Dubai.
"It is also a source of pride that the entire retrofit project will be conducted at our home base in Dubai," Clark said.
The initial six aircraft with premium economy will debut on routes between Dubai (DXB) and Frankfurt (FRA), London Heathrow (LHR), New York-JFK and Paris (CDG) by the end of December, Emirates said.
Currently, Emirates is operating flights between Dubai (DXB) and Paris (CDG) with aircraft fitted with a premium economy cabin, though it's not selling premium-economy tickets on these flights. Skywards elite members can select seats in the premium-economy cabin at no extra cost.
For a product due to launch at the end of next month, Emirates premium-economy fares are curiously still not on sale. And the head of Emirates Skywards recently told TPG writer Benji Stawski that award redemptions for premium economy won't be happening anytime soon.