Dubai airline Emirates is preparing to launch a long awaited premium economy product in 2020, according to a company podcast.
The airline had indicated in late 2016 that it could introduce the section on flights within 18 months as a middle ground between economy and business class.
However, president Tim Clark revealed on the current edition of the airline’s inflight podcast Emirates World that it is now eyeing a 2020 introduction on a new generation of Airbus A380s it recently ordered.
In February, the carrier finalised a $16bn order or 20 superjumbos with options for 16 more, securing the future of a programme for which it is by far the largest customer.
“We have already ‘spec’d out’ the aeroplanes; we know exactly what we’re going to do, [and] where we’re going to place these seats, which zones [destinations] and how we’re designing the product,” Clark told Emirates World host Steve Harvey.
He added the airline would receive the first six A380s from the February order in 2020 but disclosed few other details regarding the premium economy product itself.
“The aeroplanes that we ordered, the latest A380s – the first six of which come in 2020 – we will be installing premium economy in those, and it will be an Emirates premium economy, so it will be special.”
Emirates recently reported a 124 per cent surge in profit for its 2017-2018 fiscal year as a sign of improving market conditions.
Clark indicated demand for the carrier’s more expensive first and business class options “remains strong in the Middle East” and it would not be looking to pull them out to make place for premium economy seats.