a woman standing in a plane

First there was huge scoop of a brand new seat, then it turned out to be false. Then, there was scoop of another seat, and that fizzled too. But now, after immense rumors, plenty of confusion, and a couple delays, Emirates has officially-officially unveiled their new Premium Economy cabins, slated to officially welcome passengers in 2022, and unofficially from next week!

Emirates Unveils Premium Economy

Emirates is heralded the world over as a leader in passenger travel. It was among the first in the world to refine economy once again, with extra large entertainment screens and generous legroom, and revolutionized first class with enclosed suites, complete with showers on the Airbus A380.

a group of people standing in an airplane
Emirates premium will feature a 2-4-2 layout with 56 seats.

But the gulf between economy and premium left value conscious travelers in a lurch. Business class is often too out of reach, but economy, while great value, isn’t quite comfortable enough for the longest flights. The solution: Premium.

A modern seat in premium economy offers the comforts of the business class of old, with nice extras along the way, and often a fraction of the cost of flat beds in business class, it can be a true bargain.

a group of seats with a patched up design

Emirates A380 premium economy, which just rolled out of the factory with the latest A380, will feature a 2-4-2 layout, with a 56 seat cabin. As always, those two seats by the windows will be the most sought after, with just one neighbor.

a table on a chair
Emirates new premium economy tray tables.

The new Emirates A380 Premium Economy seats will offer 40” pitch – aka legroom – and 19.5” of seat width, with a generous 8” of recline. They’ll even have wood panels inspired by business class, and creamy leather finishings.

The new Premium will also feature calf and foot rests, two tray tables, with a little side cocktail table, and a 13.3” entertainment screen to stretch out and unwind. On A380’s with First Class, Emirates Premium will be located in the front of the lower deck, and on flights without a first class cabin, premium will be on the front of the upper deck.

Emirates Premium: When And Where?

Emirates plans to sell Premium Economy beginning in 2022, and recently confirmed that the airline will receive its last Airbus A380 in May of 2022, which will be the last A380 ever produced. But that doesn’t mean you won’t experience it as soon as the beginning of January, 2021!

a woman standing in a plane
Emirates new premium economy cabin unveiled.

According to Tim Clark, President of Emirates, many lucky customers will receive a complimentary upgrade to Premium Economy over the next couple years. And no, it won’t have anything to do with two magic words, or wearing a suit.

Until we have a viable number of seats in our inventory to bring to market, we plan to offer the Emirates Premium Economy experience as a complimentary upgrade to valued customers. We’ll also deploy our newest A380 aircraft on various routes so that our customers can experience our latest offering in all classes.”

Tim Clark, President, Emirates.

Emirates latest A380 delivery will feature higher privacy doors in first class, as well as widened suites. Business class will feature new leather finishings in business class, and “game changer” seats in economy, designed to bring added comfort. Even the A380 cocktail bar will feature new bespoke finishings.

a seat with a white pillow and a white pillow on the back
Emirates new seat covers for A380 business class.

We’ll update this article as more word on where Emirates new A380’s are headed. Wherever they are, up to 56 people will receive complimentary upgrades from economy on each flight! Not bad…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. A 2-4-2 configuration doesn’t look very Premium to me – still have to climb over people if you are stuck in the middle two seats of group of 4.

    1. It’s honestly pretty good for Premium these days. Cathay, Virgin, BA, most are in 2-4-2. It’s where things like seat selection become paramount to the experience.

  2. Sigh – Less in pitch and recline than Air NZ which has been about for ages and has amazing soft product to boot. Shame you cant fly anywhere with them right now.

    I also find it odd that they would put Premium in front of the biz class section but yes there is the bar at the back…. good for PE pax thou as you’re guaranteed a seat up the front of the plane.

  3. Emirates economy is a very comfortable flight , the premium economy sounds like a breath of fresh air x

  4. Given that Emirates doesn’t seem to have a top notch business class product, to what degree do you think that the new PE may actually entice people to downgrade rather than upgrade?

    1. That’s an interesting one. Fortunately for Emirates, keeping this on A380 and 777X will mean it’s up against their best business class product which is vey good, as opposed to the 777 which is pretty outdated.

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