Emirates will launch its premium economy seat in 2020, ahead of its debut on new Airbus A380 jets, to be followed by the also-new Boeing 777-9.
A long-running retrofit program will add the premium economy seats to Emirates' existing A380s and Boeing 777-300ER jets.
What we already know about Emirates premium economy seat is that this will be an all-new seat exclusive to the airline, not one flown by any other airline to date, using a bespoke design built to the airline’s specifications.
"We've had a competition among seat manufactures to spec out the designs that we want," Emirates CEO Tim Clark has previously told Australian Business Traveller.
"We’ve said this is how we want it to be built, and most of the seats that we have today are our own designs built to our specifications."
Comfort is paramount to the premium economy proposition. Emirates CEO Sir Tim Clark tells Australian Business Traveller that the seat chosen by the airline will fully cradle the legs and feet, coupled with a 10 inch recline to become a railway-style ‘sleeperette’ – but not a flat bed, which will remain a core feature of Emirates business class.
Passengers can also expect much more legroom, with around 38 inches of pitch – up to 6 inches more than economy – while the seat itself will be wider than its economy counterparts.
Also on the cards: a larger inflight video screen and, if Emirates follows the lead of several other airlines, noise-cancelling headphones.
Better meals and service
Airlines flying premium economy always go the extra mile with catering, so Emirates premium economy passengers can expect a better grade of main meals, drinks and refreshments than their economy-class counterparts. This could even include a glass of Champagne before take-off.
The relatively small number of premium economy seats and the fact that Emirates premium economy will have its own cabin also means there will be a higher level of service from crew assigned to premium economy.
A private cabin
Clark has previously toldAustralian Business Traveller that the premium economy cabin would be seperate to economy class in order to provide "a degree of exclusivity... and not just a curtain, it'll be a proper cabin. We're aiming to make it a quiet zone, a comfortable zone."
On Emirates Airbus A380s fitted with first class, Clark says the premium economy cabin will be located at the front of the lower deck with “probably as many as 56 seats."
On those Emirates A380s which lack first class, premium economy will be added onto the upper deck with "the same kind of number" of seats as the three-class superjumbos.