DALLAS — Emirates (EK) has established itself as a trailblazer in providing passengers with an unmatched level of luxury in the sky. The airline’s latest addition to the cabin experience is the Premium Economy following the 2017 unveiling of its new First Class on its Boeing 777 aircraft.
In this article, we explore the routes that feature the Garhoud, Dubai-based carrier’s A380 Premium Economy and Boeing 777 First Class offerings.
Emirates Premium Economy Routes
The Premium Economy cabin, available on select Airbus A380 aircraft, includes luxurious seats, enhanced legroom, and a service that rivals the offerings of other airlines’ business classes. EK is the first airline to offer Premium Economy in the region.
The Premium Economy experience goes from having a dedicated check-in area to offering seats with generous pitch, width, and ample recline.
Initially offered on popular A380 routes to London, Paris, Sydney, and Christchurch, the new cabin offering was met with great excitement. When boarding a four-class EK A380 aircraft, passengers can find the Premium Economy cabin situated at the front of the main deck.
With a layout featuring 56 seats arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration, EK has crafted an environment that offers a balance between privacy and social interaction.
As of June 2023, the carrier’s Premium Economy cabin was installed on only 17 A380s. These aircraft consistently operate flights between Dubai and a select number of destinations. Some of those routes are listed as follows:
Dubai (DXB) – London Heathrow (LHR)
Emirates operates six daily Airbus A380 flights to London Heathrow. Passengers flying on EK’s flights EK1, EK2, EK3, EK4, EK5, EK6, EK7, and EK8 can now enjoy the comfort and exclusivity of the Premium Economy cabin.
Dubai (DXB) – Sydney (SYD)
Travelers flying between Sydney and Dubai on flight numbers EK414 and EK415 also have the opportunity to experience Emirates’ Premium Economy cabin. This route offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the vibrant city of Sydney while enjoying the comforts of this new offering.
Dubai (DXB) – Sydney (SYD) – Christchurch (CHC)
Emirates operates A380 flights between Sydney and Christchurch with flight numbers EK412 and EK413 as a continuation of its service between Dubai and Sydney. Passengers traveling on this route can savor the breathtaking beauty of New Zealand and unwind in the Premium Economy class.
Dubai (DXB) – Melbourne (MEL)
Passengers flying on EK’s flight numbers EK406 and EK407 between Dubai and Melbourne can also enjoy the additional space, privacy, and personalized service provided in Emirates’ Premium Economy class.
Dubai (DXB) – Auckland (AKL)
Emirates operates flights EK448 and EK449 on the Dubai-Auckland route, offering passengers the chance to experience Premium Economy while traveling to New Zealand’s largest city.
Dubai (DXB) – New York JFK (JFK)
Travelers flying between Dubai and The Big Apple on flight numbers EK203 and EK204 can also revel in the luxurious and comfortable Premium Economy class.
Dubai (DXB) – San Francisco (SFO)
Emirates’ Premium Economy featured A380s also operates flights EK225 and EK226 on the Dubai – San Francisco route, allowing passengers to enjoy the upgraded travel experience of Premium Economy on flights to and from the City by the Bay.
Dubai (DXB) – Singapore (SIN)
Passengers flying on flight numbers EK354 and EK355 between Dubai and Singapore can now experience EK’ Premium Economy class.
The airline’s A380-800s currently equipped with the new Premium Economy cabin are:
- A6-EUV, A6-EUW, A6-EVC, A6-EVE, A6-EVG, A6-EVH, A6-EVI, A6-EVJ, A6-EVK, A6-EVL, A6-EVM, A6-EVN, A6-EVO, A6-EVP, A6-EVQ, A6-EVR, A6-EVS.
In addition to the scheduled routes mentioned above, EK occasionally operates these A380s on the following routes:
- Dubai (DXB) – Houston (IAH): Flight numbers EK211 and EK212
- Dubai (DXB) – Jeddah (JED): Flight numbers EK801 and EK802
- Dubai (DXB) – Istanbul (IST): Flight numbers EK123 and EK124
Note that there is always a chance of aircraft change on these routes served occasionally by the A380s featuring the Premium Economy cabin due to operational reasons.
Emirates Premium Economy Features
Equipped with state-of-the-art features and designed to enhance the travel experience, the premium economy cabin provides a perfect balance between affordability and upgraded amenities. The service includes:
Airport Experience: EK has dedicated a check-in area for Premium Economy passengers at Dubai International Airport (DXB), ensuring a seamless and hassle-free start to the journey. Alternatively, passengers can take advantage of the self-service check-in kiosks to avoid queues.
Additionally, select airports offer access to Emirates’ lounges, where passengers can relax, indulge in gourmet snacks, and make use of premium amenities before their flight.
Luxurious Seats: Upon boarding, passengers will be welcomed by the Premium Economy cabin’s wood panel finishing, reminiscent of the Business Class cabins. Each seat features a 6-way adjustable headrest.
The cream-colored leather seats boast an impressive pitch of up to 40 inches, a width of 19.5 inches, and a recline of 8 inches. Additionally, calf rests and footrests ensure enhanced comfort, while easily accessible in-seat charging points and a side cocktail table add to the convenience.
Complimentary Amenities: Blankets made from recycled plastic bottles and generously sized pillows are provided. Complimentary amenity kits, enclosed in reusable and sustainable bags, offer travel items also made with recycled or sustainable materials.
Dining Experience: Passengers are welcomed onboard with a refreshing drink served in fine glassware. Inspired by elements from the Business Class offering, the culinary journey in Premium Economy showcases a selection of generous meals crafted with seasonal ingredients and regional influences.
Meals are served on chinaware accompanied by stainless steel cutlery wrapped in linen napkins. The drinks menu offers a wide selection, including premium wines and sparkling Chandon wine, while liqueurs and chocolates are available after meals.
In-flight Entertainment: The Premium Economy experience on EK includes a 13.3-inch screen, one of the largest in its class, offering access to EK’s award-winning entertainment system, ice. With up to 5,000 channels of music, movies, TV shows, news, and more, passengers can tailor their in-flight entertainment experience, ensuring an enjoyable journey at 35,000 feet.
Enhanced Privacy: The Premium Economy cabin provides a dedicated space that offers more privacy compared to economy class. The design includes higher seat partitions and adjustable headrests, allowing passengers to relax and enjoy their personal space.
Bigger Baggage Allowance: Traveling in Premium Economy grants passengers a larger baggage allowance, enabling them to bring more belongings without worrying about exceeding weight restrictions.
Emirates Premium Economy Retrofit Program
Emirates embarked on a retrofit program in November 2022 to retrofit 67 of its A380s and 53 Boeing 777-300ERs with their highly anticipated Premium Economy cabins. This extensive initiative showcases Emirates’ commitment to enhancing the flying experience for its valued customers.
Upon completion of the retrofit program, a remarkable total of 126 Emirates aircraft will boast Premium Economy cabins, complemented by the airline’s latest interior upgrades across other classes. EK views this retrofit program as a significant investment in ensuring that its customers have the best possible flying experience.
“Since we first introduced our Premium Economy seats in January 2021, the positive response and demand have been tremendous. Our intention is to offer this experience to many more markets across our network. At the end of the program, Emirates will have 126 aircraft fitted out with Premium Economy cabins, as well as our latest interiors across other cabins. It is a major investment to ensure our customers continue to have the best experience in the sky.”Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airlines
Commenting on the project, Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airlines said, “As with everything we do, Emirates Premium Economy will be exceptional in its class, with minute attention given to every aspect of the customer experience. Customers trading up from the Economy will be getting excellent value.”
On the EK Boeing 777-300ERs, five rows located just behind the Business Class will be removed to allow for the installation of 24 Premium Economy seats laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration.
Emirates New Boeing 777 First Class
In late 2017, Emirates launched a new First Class product on a small number of its newer Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The suites feature floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and design elements inspired by the iconic Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Each fully-enclosed suite spans 40 square feet, providing passengers with enough personal space. The newer 777-300ERs feature six First Class suites in a 1-1-1 configuration, compared to the eight First Class suites in a 1-2-1 layout on its remaining 777 fleet.
With the new First Class suites currently installed on only nine newer Boeing 777-300ERs, its availability is limited. These aircraft regularly operate flights between Dubai and a select number of destinations. Some of those routes are listed as follows:
Dubai (DXB) – Brussels (BRU)
Passengers traveling between Dubai and Brussels on flight numbers EK181, EK182, EK183, and EK184.
Dubai (DXB) – London Stansted (STN)
Emirates operates flights EK65, EK66, EK67, and EK68 between Dubai and London STN.
Dubai (DXB) – Zurich (ZRH)
Travelers flying on flights EK85 and EK86 between Dubai and Zurich.
Dubai (DXB) – Geneva (GVA)
Emirates’ newer Boeing 777-300ERs operate flights EK83, EK84, EK89, and EK90 between Dubai and Geneva.
Dubai (DXB) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)
Passengers traveling between Dubai and Tokyo-Haneda on flights EK312 and EK313.
Dubai (DXB) – Riyadh (RUH)
Emirates operates flights EK819 and EK820 on the Dubai-Riyadh route.
Dubai (DXB) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Travelers flying between Dubai and Frankfurt on flights EK47 and EK48.
The EK Boeing 777-300ERs equipped with the new First Class cabin have the following registrations: A6-EQH, A6-EQI, A6-EQJ, A6-EQK, A6-EQL, A6-EQM, A6-EQN, A6-EQO, and A6-EQP.
Given the limited number of aircraft equipped with this new cabin, in addition to the routes mentioned above, the airline occasionally operates these Boeing 777-300ERs on the following routes:
- Dubai (DXB) – Mumbai (BOM): Flight numbers EK504 and EK505
- Dubai (DXB) – Cochin (COK): Flight numbers EK530 and EK531
- Dubai (DXB) – Kuwait City (KWI): Flight numbers EK855 and EK856
- Dubai (DXB) – Hamburg (HAM): Flight numbers EK61 and EK62
- Dubai (DXB) – Bahrain (BAH): Flight numbers EK837 and EK838)
- Dubai (DXB) – Tunis (TUN): Flight numbers EK747 and EK748
- Dubai (DXB) – Colombo (CMB): Flight numbers EK648 and EK649
- Dubai (DXB) – Prague (PRG): Flight numbers EK139 and EK140
- Dubai (DXB) – Istanbul (IST): Flight numbers EK117 and EK118
- Dubai (DXB) – Vienna (VIE): Flight numbers EK127 and EK128
Note that these additional routes were only served a couple of times in the last few weeks before the time of writing. Travelers are advised to check the aircraft’s availability and recent activity to experience the new Boeing 777 First Class Suites on these occasional routes.
Emirates New Boeing 777 First Class Features
Emirates’ latest Boeing 777 First Class suites showcase a fusion of design philosophies from Mercedes-Benz and the airline. The soft leather seating, high-tech control panels, and mood lighting are all inspired by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, renowned for its innovation, luxury, and comfort.
Passengers can indulge in a restful sleep on the fully flat bed, experience weightlessness in the “zero-gravity” position, and enjoy stunning views of the outside world through virtual windows or binoculars.
“We are very excited about our new fully-enclosed suite, which is a real game-changer in terms of privacy, comfort, and thoughtful luxury. This is the first time an Emirates product has been so influenced by another luxury brand, but it is a natural fit as both Emirates and Mercedes-Benz have the same unwavering commitment to fine detail, uncompromising quality, and a drive to push the boundaries.”Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline
Emirates and Mercedes-Benz also offer a fleet of S-Class cars as part of the complimentary Chauffeur-drive service, ensuring a seamless journey for First Class passengers in the UAE. Let’s take a look at some of the key features offered on the new First Class suites.
Fully-Enclosed Suites: Each private suite boasts a floor-to-ceiling sliding door, providing unmatched privacy and exclusivity. Collaborating with Boeing, Rockwell Collins interior systems, Panasonic, Jacques Pierre Jean Design studio, and Teague, EK has combined smart technologies and intelligent design to ensure the perfect balance of luxury, comfort, and functionality in the air.
Comfort: The soft leather seat can be reclined into a fully flat bed, and the First Class passengers can experience a “zero-gravity” position inspired by NASA technology, offering a feeling of relaxation and weightlessness. The spacious suites also allow passengers to change into their sleepwear comfortably.
Virtual Windows: Suites located in the middle aisle feature virtual windows that project real-time camera views from outside the aircraft, providing passengers with a window view even when seated away from the actual windows. Binoculars are also available for passengers who wish to explore the sky outside their suites.
Connectivity and Service: Passengers can communicate with the cabin crew or request room service via the video call function. The suites include a service window, allowing undisturbed delivery of drinks and canapés.
Personalized Entertainment: Emirates offers over 2,500 channels of on-demand entertainment on a 32-inch Full HD LCD TV screen or the option to project content from personal devices. To enhance the viewing experience, Emirates has introduced Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones exclusively designed for the First Class cabin.
Thoughtful Amenities: Each suite is equipped with an inspiration kit featuring a luxury Byredo skincare collection, Hydra Active moisturizing pajamas, and Bulgari amenity kits. Ample storage options include overhead compartments and a full-length cupboard for hanging clothes.
Emirates has made significant strides in enhancing the travel experience with the introduction of Premium Economy cabins and the new Boeing 777 First Class suite.
With its retrofit program in full swing, EK is equipping a substantial number of its A380s and Boeing 777s with Premium Economy cabins, amounting to a total of 126 aircraft upon completion. This major investment reflects the airline’s unwavering commitment to providing the best possible flying experience to its customers.
Furthermore, the new First Class suites installed on the EK Boeing 777 set a benchmark in terms of privacy, comfort, and luxury. From floor-to-ceiling sliding doors to NASA-inspired “zero-gravity” seating positions, EK has truly redefined the concept of luxury in First Class travel.
As a whole, the UAE flag carrier’s dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction comes through in its Premium Economy and First Class offerings.
Feature Image: Emirates A6-EUJ Airbus A380-861. Photo: Kochan Kleps/Airways