Emirates has announced the launch of its Premium Economy product, saying it is the only airline in the region to offer this product.
Sales start from June 1 and the official launch of the cabin takes place August 1.
Although the airline has had the cabin class in six of its A380s since the start of 2021, it has not sold tickets for the product, and instead, has serendipitously surprised some economy-class passengers.
Flights to South Africa are not on the cards for the launch. The airline will initially focus on the six A380s, which will be flying to London Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Christchurch and Sydney.
On a four-class Emirates A380, the dedicated Premium Economy cabin is located at the front of the main deck, with 56 seats laid out in 2-4-2 configuration. On the airline’s Boeing 777, up to 24 Premium Economy seats will be installed in a dedicated cabin section between Business and Economy.
EK’s Premium Economy Class features:
*Dedicated check-in area at Dubai International Airport, or clients may use a self check-in kiosk.
*Luxurious seats: With six-way adjustable headrests, the cream leather seats have a generous pitch of up to 40 inches (101.6cm), and a width of 19.5 inches (49.5cm). The seats recline eight inches (20.3cm) into a comfortable cradle position with ample room to stretch out. There are calf rests and footrests for additional comfort, in addition to many other thoughtful touches, such as easily accessible in-seat charging points and a side cocktail table.
*Comfort: Soft, sustainable blankets are made from recycled plastic bottles, and a generously sized pillow are both designed uniquely for Premium Economy. Travellers can refresh themselves with the complimentary amenity kits which come in reusable, sustainable bags, and contain items that are all made with some element of recycled or sustainable materials.
*Dining experience: Incorporates elements inspired by Business Class. Customers will be welcomed on board with a welcome drink in fine glassware. During meal service, a selection of generous meals made with seasonal ingredients and regional influences will be served on chinaware, accompanied by stainless steel cutlery wrapped in a linen napkin. The drinks menu will include a selection of beverages including premium wines and a sparkling Chandon wine. There are also liqueurs available after meals, and chocolates.
*Entertainment: Each seat has a 13.3-inch (33.8cm) screen, one of the largest in its class, to enjoy the unmatched array of up to 5 000 channels of music, movies, TV, news and other content on Emirates’ award-winning ICE (inflight entertainment system).
Sir Tim Clark, Emirates’ President, said the intention of the airline was to offer the product to many more markets across its network. “Since we first introduced our Premium Economy seats in January 2021, the positive response and demand has been tremendous. This November we will begin our retrofit programme to install Premium Economy on 67 A380s and 53 Boeing 777s. At the end of the programme, Emirates will have 126 aircraft fitted out with Premium Economy cabins, as well as our latest interiors across other cabins. It is a major investment to ensure our customers continue to have the best experience in the sky.”
And EK currently has a new, sharper focus on the customer experience. The carrier says it is creating its next generation hospitality programme with the Swiss hotel school Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, consistently rated amongst the world’s top hospitality management schools.
The carrier has already incorporated elements of its new hospitality principles into its soon-to-launch Premium Economy service, as its cabin crew learn how to deliver Emirates’ latest in-flight experience, from food presentation and offering of welcome drinks, to complimentary amenities and other little touches, according to a release from the carrier.