Dubai based carrier Emirates Airline has unveiled its much anticipated new premium economy seat, which will debut on the airline’s newest Airbus A380, A6-EVN. Along with the new seat reveal, the airline also announced a range of other product enhancements onboard the A380.
Along with the new reveal, the airline also confirmed they will take delivery of their final 5 A380s in 2021 and 2022. All 5 aircraft will come with the new premium economy cabin. The airline also confirmed that they are considering retrofitting existing A380s with the new seat. In December 2020, the airline has taken delivery of 3 A380s.
Emirates also revealed the delayed 777X is expected to enter service in 2023, rather than the original 2022 date. Some 777X’s will come with premium economy. Details around retrofitting the airlines existing 777 fleet are not yet known, along with whether the seat will arrive on Emirates’ A350s and 787s which are expected to enter service in 2023.
The New Seat
The premium economy comes in a 2-4-2 configuration with 56 seats in the cabin, which is located, on a 3-class Emirates A380, at the front of the main deck. (Whether the seat will feature on the 2-class A380 and further details about where is not yet known).
The seats offer a pitch of up to 40-inches, is 19.5 inches wide and reclines 8 inches. The seats allow the passenger to recline into a cradle position and offers room to stretch out. The seats are covered in cream-coloured anti-stain leather. Each seat is designed to provide optimal comfort and support with 6-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and footrests.
Every seat comes with a 13.3-inch screen, which allows passengers to enjoy Emirates’ award-winning entertainment system ICE.
In-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table are added benefits for premium economy passengers. The cabin will also have 3 bathrooms, exclusive to premium economy customers.
The retrofitting of aircraft is likely as this will allow the airline to operate the seat on a number of routes. If the airline does not retrofit older aircraft, only 6 A380s will operate with the premium economy. The A380s that may be retrofitted and how many is not known.
Where will the premium economy A380 operate?
Where the aircraft will operate is yet to be announced, however, information on this is expected in the coming weeks. Given the airline will only operate 1 aircraft with premium economy for the short term future, the aircraft is likely to rotate between routes.
Emirates CEO, Sir Tim Clark commented on the premium economy routes saying:
Until we have a viable number of seats in our inventory to bring to market, we plan to offer the Emirates Premium Economy experience as a complimentary upgrade to valued customers. We’ll also deploy our newest A380 aircraft on various routes so that our customers can experience our latest offering in all classes.”
Enhanced A380 experience
Along with the new premium economy, Emirates also revealed a number of enhancements to its existing cabins on the A380, along with some changes to the bar and shower area. The entire aircraft will see new finishes and design touches featuring the Ghaf (prosopis cineraria) tree motif, as well as a champagne colour scheme with wood panelling and bronze accents from Emirates’ latest Boeing 777 interior.
The 14 First Class cabins on the A380 have been widened, with the privacy doors made taller. This allows passengers for more comfort and privacy.
The cabin and its stairs have had some stylings refreshed, with new motifs and colours. The shower spa has had an upgrade, with more modern colours and fittings.
The A380’s business class seats have been refreshed with new leather and wood coverings. The new seats are inspired by executive jets, similar to the Business Class on Emirates’ Boeing 777 Gamechanger aircraft.
The bar area, accessible to first and business passengers has also received the same colour scheme.
The economy class seats have been upgraded and feature all leather headrests. The colour of the seats has also be refreshed
What will a 4-class A380 look like?
In total a 4-class A380 will carry 534 passengers.