Emirates today announced plans to debut its newly retrofitted A380s featuring its latest Premium Economy cabins to five new cities from December – New York JFK, San Francisco, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore. The airline will also add more Premium Economy seats on services to London Heathrow and Sydney, as its newly enhanced aircraft sporting refreshed cabins roll into scheduled service.
The airline aims to offer customers more opportunities to experience its highly acclaimed Premium Economy product, and its latest deployment plans will also see 85 A380s back in the sky by December, well-timed to serve the year-end travel demand.
Emirates’ enhanced A380s with Premium Economy to New York JFK, San Francisco, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore will operate as follows:
- To New York JFK, Emirates will operate with its newly retrofitted A380 on EK203 and EK 204, starting from 1 December.
- To Auckland, Emirates will debut its Premium Economy cabin on EK 448 and EK 449, starting 15 January 2023.
- From 1 February 2023, Melbourne will become the second Australian destination to be served with the signature Emirates A380 featuring Premium Economy. Services will be deployed on EK 406 and EK 407.
- San Francisco will become the second US destination to be served by the retrofitted A380 with refreshed interiors on EK 225 and EK 226, starting on 15 February 2023.
- Emirates’ enhanced A380 with Premium Economy will land in Singapore for the first time on 1 March 2023, operating as EK 354 and EK 355.
Emirates will also update its schedules to London Heathrow, Sydney and New York JFK with its retrofitted A380 aircraft operating on the following services:
- From 15 December 2022, Sydney will become the first city in the Emirates network to offer Premium Economy seats on all flights, with the introduction of the airline’s retrofitted aircraft on EK 414 and EK 415.
- From 1 January 2023, London Heathrow will receive its third daily service with Premium Economy, with the new product debuting on EK 005 and EK 006.
- From 15 March 2023, Emirates will operate its second A380 with Premium Economy to New York JFK on EK 201 and EK 202.
Emirates will also start A380 services with a Premium Economy debut to Christchurch from 26 March 2023, as an extension of the Dubai to Sydney service, operating with EK 412 and EK 413.
Scaling up A380 operations
With travel demand the strongest it’s been in more than two years, Emirates will provide customers more choice and a better experience as it ramps up A380 services to 42 destinations by the end of March 2023. In tandem, the airline is optimising its network to meet robust demand and enhancing its existing schedules to over 400 A380 departures from Dubai, offering 460,000 weekly A380 seats by March 2023, including 81,000 seats across its premium cabins, offering the very best in customer comfort.
By year end, the airline will be serving close to a third of its network with its flagship on 85 A380s as it unlocks more destinations like Houston, Bengaluru, Perth, Auckland, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, with additional cities to be announced in the coming weeks. With an expanded list of cities, Emirates will have recovered 75% of its pre-pandemic A380 network. The airline is also adding frequencies to popular cities already served by its flagship, bringing greater resiliency and stability to its operation.
Raising the bar for premium air travel
Since Emirates debuted its Premium Economy Class to London, Paris and Sydney, customer response has been overwhelmingly positive with demand exceeding expectations, demonstrating its appeal and willingness of travellers to trade-up and try the quiet luxury and meticulously customised experience it offers.
On a four-class Emirates A380, the Premium Economy cabin is located at the front of the main deck with 56 seats laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration. In the cabin, every inch of space anticipates customer needs with a generous seat pitch and width for working and relaxing, and customised features that offer function and convenience like in-seat charging points and a side cocktail table. The experience is rounded off with expertly curated in-flight amenities, an inventive menu and extensive beverage options.
The Emirates A380 experience has long been taking passenger comfort to new levels, with an extensive suite of products that turn the journey itself into a destination, including one of the industry’s largest screens for customers to enjoy the airline’s award-winning in-flight entertainment system, ice. Customers travelling in First and Business Class cabins can enjoy the aircraft’s signature features such as the popular Onboard Lounge and fully flat seats in Business Class, as well as private suites and Shower Spas in First Class.
Emirates recently announced plans to kick-off of its fleet retrofit programme, consisting of a multi-billion dollar investment to ensure customers continue to have the best experience in the sky. Starting from November, the airline will begin intensive work to upgrade and retrofit the interior cabins of 67 Airbus A380 and 53 Boeing 777 aircraft, with one aircraft rolling out into service every 16 days. By 2025, nearly 4,000 new Premium Economy seats will be installed, 728 First Class suites refurbished and over 5,000 Business Class seats upgraded to a new style and design.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380, with 118 double-decker aircraft in its fleet. Since A6-EVF, the first A380 reactivated in 2020 began flying, the operating fleet has clocked in more than 31,000 trips worldwide, carrying over 10 million passengers.
In other news, Emirates carried more than 10 million passengers on nearly 35,000 flights to 130 destinations this summer.
Having anticipated the strong return of travel demand, Emirates worked closely with its airport partners to operate as scheduled, minimise travel disruptions, and take customers to their planned holidays and trips to see friends and family across the world over the summer.
The airline also ramped up operations to serve customer demand during this busy period, reinstating daily services to London Stansted, and increasing flights to 33 cities on popular routes across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as to favourite holiday spots like the Seychelles, Maldives, Mexico and Miami.
In June, Emirates added Tel Aviv to its global network and in July it added a third daily flight to London Gatwick to serve travellers impacted by capacity cuts at Heathrow.
The iconic Emirates A380, the world’s largest commercial jet, was also deployed to serve high customer demand at over 30 cities around its network.
On ground, the airline re-opened and was operating 32 signature Emirates Lounges, including 25 dedicated lounges at major airports across its network, to provide frequent flyers and premium travellers with a comfortable haven to rest and refresh during their journey. The airline had also reinstated its trademark complimentary Chauffeur Drive airport transfers for First and Business Class customers in nearly all cities it serves.
Dubai International (DXB) is the world’s busiest international airport. With millions of Emirates customers arriving, departing, and transiting through DXB each month, the airline ensured smooth operations at its 24/7 hub with close co-ordination and additional resources deployed throughout the airport eco-system.
Travellers benefited from the airline’s investments in services and digital initiatives to reduce wait-times at the airport and facilitating a smooth flow for customers to complete their formalities and get to where they are going.
During the summer months:
- over 3.8 million travellers across the network checked-in online via emirates.com and the Emirates App
- over 500,000 travellers used the 22 self-service check-in kiosks and 38 baggage drop facilities in Dubai Terminal 3
- over 11,000 travellers utilised Emirates’ home check-in services, which are complimentary for First Class passengers departing Dubai, entirely skipping the airport check in queue and proceeding straight to immigration
Emirates continues to rebuild its network and capacity as travel restrictions ease. It is currently operating at 74% of its pre-pandemic network/capacity and plans to increase that to 80% by year end. The airline is also commencing in November a US$2 billion retrofit programme to equip 120 aircraft with its latest onboard products.
Emirates aircraft photo gallery: