Emirates to introduce new Premium Economy class on superjumbos

The airline's new class will be introduced next year with ticket prices set well below Business class fares

From next year, price-conscious passengers will have a new option when it comes to flying Emirates.

Speaking at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, president of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark, confirmed that Premium Economy seats will be offered from next year on both the airline's new A380 planes, and its new Boeing 777 jets.

Ticket prices for the new cabin class are set to be “well below business class fares," confirmed Clark, which will be good news for travellers who want a little bit more comfort without a huge increase in price.

If you're flying Business you wouldn't now trade a lie-flat bed for a sleeperette

At the moment, the airline isn’t giving much away when it comes to details of what the Premium Economy service will entail, but typically it offers more legroom, enhanced food and beverage services and other perks.

What we do know is that Emirates' Premium Economy will have sleeperettes rather than fully lie-flat beds. Clark also commented on the new design and his personal involvement in helping to "club-iscise" the cabin. Using virtual design technology, Clark and his team worked with both Airbus and Boeing to specify various interior elements, including textures, materials, seat covers and wood grain in the cabin.

The introduction of Premium Economy class will give travellers a new level of comfort, at a price that is higher than that of Economy but not in the same realm of Business class fares. Clark seemed confident that the new class will encourage Economy flyers to trade up, rather than encouraging Business travellers to downgrade. "If you’re flying Business you wouldn't now trade a lie-flat bed for a sleeperette," he said.

As the A380 becomes the first aircraft to come equipped with Emirates Premium Economy cabins, Clark commented that he has "always been a big believer in the A380". Despite this, Emirates cancelled future orders of the 517-seat aircraft earlier this year, which means the introduction of Premium Economy class on the superjumbo could very well be the last outstanding first for the A380 and Emirates Airlines.