For over a year, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Emirates’ new premium economy product. However, it seems as though it has already been installed on A380 aircraft waiting to be delivered to the UAE carrier.
Emirates first touted its new premium economy cabin in May 2018. The news was initially broken by the airline’s President, Tim Clark, in a podcast. Since then, much like Qantas’ Project Sunrise, the world has been speculating about what could be, while patiently waiting for the big reveal. It’s not known precisely what the product will entail. However, before the current crisis, we were told to expect it in December.
Already installed on the A380
Earlier in the current crisis that has brought the aviation industry to its knees, there had been rumors floating around that Emirates would try and delay its remaining eight Airbus A380 deliveries. We now know that at least one of these aircraft has the elusive premium economy cabin.Advertisement:
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According to Flight Global, Tim Clark spoke about the new premium economy cabin in an online interview hosted by Arabian Travel Market. While the details were kept brief, he said that the first A380 to have the new premium economy cabin installed is sitting in Toulouse ready to go.
What to expect from the cabin?
So what should we expect from the elusive premium economy cabin? So far, the entire Emirates team has been keeping reasonably closed-lip about the new product.Advertisement:
Multiple times Tim Clark himself has said that a delicate balance needs to be achieved when implementing the new cabin. It has to be nice enough that it draws passengers up from the economy cabin. However, the airline also wants to avoid making the cabin too luxurious. This could risk pulling passengers down from the business class cabin. Emirates wants to prevent this.
A possible seat?
Last year we got a taste of the seat that Emirates could possibly use in its premium economy cabin. At the 2019 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, cabin interior designers
Of course, there’s nothing firm to suggest that this is the new Emirates premium economy seat. However, a few things seem to point in this direction. HAECO revealed that the chair would commence deliveries in Q1 of this year. That roughly ties up with the timeline of installing the first seats into an undelivered Airbus A380.Advertisement:
However, the biggest clue that this could be the seat lies in the launch customer of the product. HAECO refused to name an airline at the time of reveal. However, it did mention that the launch customer would be “an as-yet-unnamed Middle East-based airline.” Emirates would fit these criteria perfectly, as it’s actively looking to implement a premium economy cabin.