Emirates stunned by demand for premium economy

February 11, 2021
Emirates upgrade
Emirates is outfitting its new A380s with premium economy.

Emirates is stunned by the demand for its new premium economy according to its President Sir Tim Clark.

Clark speaking at a CAPA conference said “we have been absolutely shocked at the demand for the seats.

“People have been clamoring to get into them. They have been paying whatever we’ve asked them to pay to get into the cabin because it is a delightful cabin, I say it myself, but it is a beautiful cabin to be in.”

Emirates is one of the last major airlines to adopt a premium economy cabin but the first of the three major middle-east airlines.

Emirates, like so many airlines, were concerned that business passengers would downgrade but they have found – what everyone else has – instead economy passengers have upgraded.

Clark told CAPA that “for the first couple of months, this cabin has been completely booked, and it’s been a good test for us to see how we can deliver.”


“But even though we haven’t been delivering the full premium economy, we haven’t changed the menus out, we haven’t changed the wines or et cetera, et cetera, we just provided the seats and goodness me, it’s been very popular.

“Other carriers that have introduced it, many of our competitors in the European and Asian fields, they swear by it,” Clark said.

Emirates received its newest A380 aircraft from Airbus’ Hamburg facility late last year, and its remaining order of 5 A380s will also be delivered with premium economy cabins over 2021 and 2022.

Emirates’ premium economy seats will also be installed on some of its Boeing 777X aircraft which are only due to join the fleet in late 2023. Emirates says it is considering plans to retrofit its existing A380 fleet.

The Emirates premium economy is exceptional and offers 56 seats in a 2-4-2 cabin layout.

With a pitch of up to 40-inches, Emirates’ premium economy seat is 19.5 inches wide and reclines 8 inches into a comfortable cradle position with ample room to stretch out. Covered in cream-colored anti-stain leather with stitching details and a wood panel finishing similar to Business Class, each seat is designed to provide optimal comfort and support with 6-way adjustable headrests, calf rests, and footrests.

Each seat has a 13.3″ screen, one of the largest in its class.

Passengers also get in-seat charging points, a wide dining table, and a side cocktail table.