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Seat manufacturer Haeco has unveiled a new premium economy seat and revealed that the launch customer, a “Middle East-based carrier,” will begin flying the product from early next year.

The clues strongly suggest the airline is Emirates. There are a limited number of Middle East airlines that would consider introducing a premium economy cabin, and the timing lines up with Emirates long-awaited launch of premium-economy.

The seat, known as the Eclipse Cabin, was unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week. The product can be modified to be either short-haul business class or long-haul premium economy, which is not unusual, since long-haul premium economy seats are often similar to what you would find in a short-haul first or business seat.

Eclipse Cabin seat (Photo by Haeco)

The promotional images of the seat show a width and configuration similar to premium-economy seating on major international airlines, but with a staggered design that should provide significant privacy compared with existing products.

The fixed-shell design means the passengers will not lose any personal space if the person in front of them reclines their seat. A similar fixed-shell design currently appears in premium economy on carriers such as Air France, Aeroflot and China Southern. (We didn’t especially like any of those seats when we reviewed them, but the Haeco version does look different.)

Haeco believes this product sits somewhere between premium economy and business class because of its unique design and high levels of privacy, so if Emirates does choose this product it could be a strong contender for one of the world’s best premium-economy products.

The seat is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to be fitted in both the Boeing 737, where it could be a business or domestic first-class product, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The unique design allows eight-across seating in the 787 cabin in a 2-4-2 configuration which should be welcome to airlines that could previously only fit seven across (in a 2-3-2 configuration).

Emirates boss Sir Tim Clark has said Emirates enormous fleet of A380’s will be the first to receive premium economy, and as yet this seat is not certified for that aircraft type.

Featured image by Haeco

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