Dubai Airshow: Emirates retrofitting 105 Boeing 777s and A380s with premium economy cabins

A380s with new seating class will fly to Frankfurt, Paris, London and New York by the end of the year

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Emirates is retrofitting 105 of its Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft with premium economy cabins and is considering other upgrades to its 777 business class.

The airline will install premium economy cabins in 53 Boeing 777 and 52 Airbus A380 jets and is looking into coming up with a new business class product on its 777s, with customised seats in a one-two-one layout.

"Since we introduced our premium economy seats a year back, we have received a hugely positive response ... we intend to further develop our premium economy into a distinctive Emirates experience that is unmatched in the industry," said Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline.

"We are also considering a brand new Business Class product. More details will be revealed in due course."

Emirates – known for its luxury premium cabins, on-board shower and lounge – made its first foray into premium economy when it introduced the new cabin on its A380s a year ago.

By the end of December 2021, the airline's A380s with premium economy will be flying to Frankfurt, Paris, Heathrow in London and JFK airport in New York.

The 18-month retrofit programme, scheduled to begin at the end of 2022, will be fully done at the Emirates engineering centre in Dubai.

"It demonstrates the strong aviation capabilities that have been built up within Emirates airline and the broader UAE ecosystem to support such a highly specialised and technical programme," Mr Clark said.

At the end of the retrofit programme, Emirates will have 111 Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft offering premium economy seats. The number will include the six A380s that would have been delivered to the airline with four cabin classes by December 2021, Emirates said.

On the Emirates Boeing 777, five rows of economy class seats located behind business class will be removed to allow for the 24 premium economy seats in two-four-two configuration to be placed.

On the Emirates A380, 56 premium economy seats will installed at the front of the main deck, also in two-four-two configuration.

The airline's premium economy seats are covered in anti-stain leather with stitching details and a wood panel finish. Each seat is designed with six-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and foot rests.

With a pitch of up to 101 centimetres (40-inches), each seat is 49.5cm wide and reclines 20.3cm into a cradle position, with room to stretch out. The premium economy also has in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table.

Updated: November 17, 2021, 9:42 AM