Emirates boss says first A380 with premium economy is ready and ‘waiting to go’
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Emirates has long tossed around the idea of a premium-economy product. It wasn’t until May 2018 that the airline confirmed that it would bring premium economy to its portfolio, on new A380s beginning in 2020.
Now, the first A380 with premium economy installed is ready to enter service. But coronavirus is delaying its entry into service.
Emirates President Sir Tim Clark said during the Arabian Travel Market virtual event that the carrier’s first A380 with the new mid-tier product was “sitting in Toulouse waiting to go”.
For more travel tips and news, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Exact details about what the premium economy product will look like for Emirates remain unclear. In the past, Clark has said that it’s a railway-style “sleeperette” design.
“It’s probably where business class used to be, and in some cases where first used to be in the old days, 30 years ago”, Clark previously told Executive Traveller.
We do know though that there will be around 38 inches of pitch with 10 inches of recline. Clark has previously said that the premium-economy cabin will be located on the lower deck of the A380, with “probably as many as 56 seats”, according to ET.
In April 2019, seat manufacturer Haeco unveiled its new premium-economy seat and revealed that the launch customer was a Middle East-based carrier, leading many to believe that it could be Emirates. It has not yet been confirmed.
However, the delivery of the first aircraft with the product inside could be delayed until 2021 or beyond — depending on when passenger demand picks up in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
Airbus manufactures the superjumbo Airbus A380 from its headquarters in Toulouse. According to Flight Global, Emirates’ last eight A380s that it had on order are set to be delivered over the next year or so. Then, Airbus will end production of the aircraft.
During the coronavirus crisis, Emirates, which is the world’s largest A380 operator, has grounded its entire fleet of 115 A380s. However, despite not using the superjumbo through the peak of coronavirus downtime, Clark continues to see a bright future for the aircraft in Emirates’ fleet as travel demand will eventually resume.
“The A380 has proven to be a hugely successful aircraft and if fuel prices were forever to stay at today’s levels, this aircraft is hugely potent”, Clark said. “The thirst for travel will come back”.
According to Cirium data, Emirates has a backlog of more than 200 aircraft on order, including a total of 58 A380s and A350s from Airbus.
Because of the coronavirus crisis, the A380 is facing a grim future. Emirates will resume flying it, but it has grounded its entire fleet, and other airlines around the world have done the same. For much of the crisis, the only A380s in the skies have been China Southern’s. Additionally, Air France said in May it was retiring its fleet of A380s, effective immediately, and Lufthansa has grounded its A380s.
Featured photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees