Emirates launches lavish new Premium Economy cabins
One of the world’s premium airlines is launching a brand new premium economy cabin this week. Emirates, the long-haul air carrier based in Dubai, unveiled the design and layout of the new cabin to the public this morning, coupled with a handful of upcoming updates for the carrier’s A380 fleet.
The new cabin, which will equip six of the carrier’s A380s, includes 56 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration. The seats will be 40 “in pitch, recline 8” and have a width of 19.5 “. Premium entertainment, appointments and service, comparable to the course at Emirates, are also part of the package. .
To put the cabin in context, Singapore Airlines, another international premium airline, offers a similar cabin on some of its flights with 38 “seat spacing, 8” recline and 19.5 “width.
To date, Emirates has not operated its fleet with a premium economy offering. Instead, the carrier has relied on lavish first-class and business-class cabins as well as premium service across the board to set its product apart. Neither Etihad nor Qatar, two of Emirates’ big rivals in the Middle East, operate with premium economy cabins.
As a product, however, the economics of the premium economy are starting to become apparent. According to the Financial Times, the international premium economy is the most profitable class per square foot among many premium carriers. American, Delta and United, the three largest carriers in the United States, have all launched international premium economy cabins in the past five years.
Realizing the value of the cabin and relative to its premium position in the market, so it was only a matter of time before Emirates launched their own product. And once the new A380s with premium economy class are delivered, Emirates is also expanding the cabin to its upcoming 777X fleet and considering upgrading existing equipment.
In addition to the new cabins, the upcoming A380s will also feature a handful of aesthetic and functional updates for a broader experience. First-class cabins will now be fitted with taller doors and wider footprints, giving travelers a slight increase in privacy, while business-class seats have been upgraded with new leather and wood fittings. The economy seats have also been upgraded with leather headrests and more ergonomic seats.
All in all, the new Emirates cabin updates appear to be making a statement about the carrier’s position in the market and long-term plans for the airline industry to rebound with force. Already, Emirates has committed to receive the remainder of its A380 order, a massive cell that is being rapidly withdrawn around the world due to operational inefficiencies and lack of passenger volume. Between a premium fleet and a premium cabin, Emirates should have little difficulty defending its opulent position in the market.