Emirates Delays Introduction Of Premium Economy

Filed Under: Emirates

While the Gulf carriers are innovative in so many ways, it’s fascinating that as of now not a single major Gulf carrier offers a premium economy cabin. For several years Emirates executives have been talking about how the airline will introduce premium economy.

The plan has been for Emirates to introduce premium economy starting in 2020, though it looks like the timeline may be slipping a bit.

Emirates’ New Premium Economy Is Delayed

During a media briefing today in Dubai, Emirates President Tim Clark has said that he thinks the airline’s new premium economy will be delayed.

The plan has been for Emirates to launch premium economy on their new Boeing 777X aircraft, which they were supposed to take delivery of by June 2020.

The first flight of the Boeing 777X has been pushed back to 2020, a delay of over six months, following issues with their General Electric engines.

It’s anyone’s guess when Emirates will actually take delivery of their first 777X, though with a minimum of a six month delay for the 777X’s first flight, I’d imagine delivery of the first plane will be pushed back by a similar amount of time.

If that is in fact the case, the expectation is that Emirates will launch premium economy on the A380 as of December 2020.

We Don’t Know Much About Emirates’ New Premium Economy

Not only is the launch of Emirates’ premium economy behind schedule, but we actually still don’t know what to expect from this product.

During the Aircraft Interiors Expo earlier this year HAECO revealed their new “Eclipse Cabin,” and in the press release they noted:

The launch customer − an as yet unnamed Middle East-based airline − will begin flying with the seats in 2020.

We don’t know for sure that these will be Emirates’ new premium economy seats, and for that matter I’ve heard some people suggest that they won’t be. However, at this point it’s the best guess we have.

Emirates Premium Economy Bottom Line

Unless Boeing is able to push forward the launch of the 777X, it seems like Emirates’ new premium economy will debut in December 2020 on the A380.

Like many things at Emirates, I’d expect the rollout of the new product to be slow, with new planes being the first to get the cabins, and very few existing planes being converted quickly.

For example, Emirates introduced their new first class nearly two years ago, and only nine planes have these cabins, with no immediate plans for more planes to get them.

I’ll be very curious to see what premium economy product Emirates ends up choosing, and the timeline with which it’s introduced.

  1. If this is introduce I suspect it will be like SQ, way over priced for what it offers and therefore undersold on almost all occasions.

  2. Will they be a class leading 21 inches width?

    Despite the hype about the new Virgin A350, the new Premium Economy has downgraded, shrinking down to 18.5 inches width from 21 inches.

  3. Lucky, you are by now officially a member of the airline industry. Please please please call them ‘aircraft’ Iike everyone else in the industry!

  4. All these things, not moving to DWC, not taking orders until engines are conformed to standards, A380 orders dropped, some being taken out for parts or stored, Senior purser contracts not being renewed, now Premium Economy on hold, the list goes on. In a nutshell, Emirates is no longer what is used to be and management knows that quite well. Though had a good set of flights in Emirates recently and the A380 is indeed a beautiful aircraft. Wish them the best.

  5. There is only one thing PE is good for and that’s redemption availability, for all the reasons others have highlighted. A VS PE redemption one way on HKG-LHR off peak nets you 4.6p (UK) per mile last time I worked it out. But actually PE on their 787s is so darned uncomfortable that I normally chose economy although availability is more patchy. Fully reclined in their fake leather PE seats it’s so slippy that you can’t stay in a comfortable position without continuously sliding down. Hence why I started traveling with a rubberized place setting mat – perfect for that extra bum/leg grip.

  6. I wonder what the benefit of PE is in general… Generally speaking I believe PE is between 60-75% of the price of the cheapest business class ticket – still a huge price gap with standard economy. As such, I don’t think many leisure travellers will want to pay for PE. For companies that don’t allow business class travel, I don’t think many will change their travel policy to allow employees to fly PE. Why would they? And for the frequent travellers in economy, upgrades will be from economy to PE, and no longer from economy to business… So, really… What’s the advantage of PE from the traveller point of view?

  7. I can’t imagine ever choosing premium economy. I’d sooner ‘grin and bear it’ down the back than pay a great whack to be half miserable. It’s premium or basic for me…not some vaguely tarted-up halfway house.

  8. I read bad comments on the PE. Some forget that the old Business was nothing else than the current PE for most airlines. 20 years ago, not 200. Not everyone has the budget to pay business and at time I don’t mind flying PE. 60% of my flights are in PE and it’s a great value for money. Better reclining (I can sleep while I can’t in economy), better catering and better seat width. It’s a great compromise compared to Economy or paying sometimes five time more. Being based in Dubai I was really looking forward to PE and I think EK is one of those airlines that would benefit from it.

  9. The last thing Boeing are going to do is rush the 777x into service. The last time they rushed a plane into service it crashed twice.

  10. Agree with others, for me PE is too expensive for what it offers. 2 Trips in PE often cost the same as 1 trip in Eco plus one trip in Business. Would always chose the latter.

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