Emirates plans major retrofit programme

By the end of this year, Premium Economy will be available on Emirates’ A380s on Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York JFK and Paris routes

Emirates has announced that it will retrofit 105 of its modern wide-body aircraft with its Premium Economy product, in addition to other cabin enhancements. The announcement was made at the recently concluded Dubai Airshow 2021.

The 18-month retrofit programme, scheduled to begin at the end of 2022, will be conducted at Emirates’ Engineering Centre in Dubai. It will see 52 Emirates A380s and 53 Boeing 777s fitted with a new cabin class – the Premium Economy, a statement from the airline said.

The airline is also considering installing a new Business Class product on its Boeing 777 aircraft, with customised seats in a 1-2-1 layout.

Emirates Airline President Sir Tim Clark said: "Emirates is investing in this retrofit programme to ensure that we continue to serve our customers’ needs, and provide the best experiences in the sky. Since we introduced our Premium Economy seats a year ago, we’ve received a huge positive response. Customers have been amazed by the quality and comfort.

"As Emirates has done with our signature First, Business and full-service Economy travel experiences, we intend to develop our Premium Economy into a distinctive Emirates experience. We are also considering a new Business Class product."

Sir Tim added: "It is also a source of pride that the entire retrofit project will be conducted at our home base in Dubai. It demonstrates the strong aviation capabilities that has been built up within Emirates airline and the broader UAE ecosystem to support such a specialised and technical programme."

At the end of the retrofit programme, Emirates will have a total of 111 Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft offering Premium Economy seats, including the six A380s that would have been delivered to the airline with four cabin classes by December 2021.

On the Emirates Boeing 777, five rows of Economy class seats located just behind Business Class will be removed to install 24 Premium Economy seats laid out in 2-4-2 configuration. On the Emirates A380, 56 Premium Economy seats will be installed at the front of the main deck also in 2-4-2 configuration.

By end of December 2021, Emirates’ A380s with Premium Economy will be operating on the airline’s flights to Frankfurt, London Heathrow, New York JFK and Paris.