Within the next year, Emirates will start updating the cabins of its aircraft. Among the upgrades is the addition of its Premium Economy product on 105 of its wide-body jets.
At the Dubai Airshow 2021, Emirates announced the upgrades as part of a retrofit program scheduled to begin at the end of 2022. The 18-month program will see 52 of the airline's Airbus A380s and 53 of its Boeing 777s fitted with the new cabin class.
Emirates added the program will be done at the airline's own Engineering Centre in Dubai. The Dubai-based airline also added it is considering installing a brand new Business Class product on its Boeing 777 aircraft featuring customized seats in a 1-2-1 layout.
For the Boeing 777s, Emirates stated that 5 rows of Economy seats behind the current Business Class cabin will be removed to install the 24 Premium Economy seats. 56 seats will be added at the front of the main deck on the A380s. Both the Boeing 777 and A380 Premium Economy seats will be in a 2-4-2 configuration.
Emirates' Premium Economy seats feature a width of 19.5 inches, a pitch of 40 inches, and a recline of 8 inches. The seats are made with a anti-stain leather and wood panel finishing, along with a 6-way adjustable headrests, calf rests, and footrests. Passengers will have access to in-seat charging points and a 13.3-personal inflight entertainment screen on each seat-back which Emirates states is one of the largest in its class.
By the end of the retrofit program, a total of 111 of its aircraft will have the highly regarded Premium Economy seats. Among the jets to feature the seats are the six A380s that will be delivered to the airline by December 2021.
According to Emirates, the airline's A380s with the Premium Economy seats will be operating on flights to Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, New York-JFK, and Paris by the end of December 2021.
In a statement, Emirates President Tim Clark said: “Emirates is investing in this retrofit programme to ensure that we continue to serve our customers’ needs, and provide the best experiences in the sky. Since we introduced our Premium Economy seats a year back, we’ve received a hugely positive response. Customers have been amazed by the quality and comfort. As Emirates has done with our signature First, Business and full-service Economy travel experiences, we intend to further develop our Premium Economy into a distinctive Emirates experience that is unmatched in the industry. We are also considering a brand new Business Class product. More details will be revealed in due course.”