Premium economy can be a real sweet spot for those weighing a tradeoff between price, luxury, service, and comfort on long-haul flights. Today, Emirates, the largest airline in and flag carrier for the United Arab Emirates, unveiled its first ever premium economy seat that will come installed on its new A380 aircraft. In true Emirates style, the seat looks especially luxurious for premium economy and constitutes a giant step forward in comfort, space and amenities over standard economy.

Emirates Premium Economy Seat And Cabin

Emirates places the premium economy section on the A380 lower deck at the front of the plane. The cabin, has 56 seats in a 2-4-2 layout. Premium economy has three dedicated lavatories.

Emirates’ premium economy seats are stylish. They are covered in cream-colored leather enhanced with stitching detail and wood-veneer finishing. This premium economy seat and cabin layout look a lot like business class on most airlines from 10 or 15 years ago.


Seat pitch (distance between rows) is very generous – up to 40 inches. The seat is 19.5 inches wide and reclines 8 inches. A calf rest and foot rest support the lower body in the relined position. Seats come with a six-way articulating headrest and large pillow.


Each seat has a 13.3” video monitor, for enjoying Emirates’ wide range of in-flight entertainment.


Thoughtful touches include easily accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table, side cocktail table, and open storage areas for phones, headsets, eyeglasses, etc..


Emirates operates more A380s, 117 currently, than any other airline. Lat week, Emirates received the first of six A380s presently slated to receive premium economy. The other five A380s will be delivered with premium economy in 2021 and 2022. Retrofitting the existing A380 fleet is still under consideration. In addition, Emirates will install premium economy on some Boeing 777X aircraft that are scheduled to enter the fleet starting in 2023.

Emirates’ announcement also came with the news that until it has enough planes with premium economy to start selling the product, it plans to offer the experience as a complimentary upgrade to “valued customers.” Presumably that means customers with elite status in the Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program.

Emirates plans to rotate premium economy equipped A380s on various routes and will specify where these planes will fly in the coming months.

Here is a short video tour of Emirates premium economy.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of if I’m spending cash, points, or miles for an airline ticket, choosing premium economy is often a great way to experience a higher level of luxury, comfort and service without breaking the bank. Emirates is entering the premium economy market with a very classy product. Primarily because it is not a member of an airline alliance, I’ve never flown Emirates. This new premium economy product makes it very tempting to go out of my way to do so in the future.

What do you think of Emirates new product?

Photo credit for all photos: Emirates