> Emirates to introduce Premium Economy offer on Indian routes

Emirates to introduce Premium Economy offer on Indian routes

As it celebrates the one-year anniversary of the debut of its Premium Economy cabin aboard some of its Airbus A380 fleet, Emirates Airline has confirmed it will also debut the cabin on two routes to India later this year and continues to study further markets for the product as more retrofitted aircraft with refreshed cabins roll into scheduled service.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier says over 160,000 customers have “traded up” to fly in its Premium Economy since it was introduced in Aug-2022, with “strong demand” momentum forecasted in the coming months.

Emirates says that since it debuted the new class of travel, customer response has been “overwhelmingly positive” with demand “exceeding expectations” and bookings growing month on month.

Nearly half of customers flying in the cabin are described my Emirates as “solo travellers venturing off for holidays”, while “couples and families” constitute the other half. More than 60% of customers who booked to fly in the Premium Economy cabin in the last year were also known Emirates Skywards members and regular customers of the airline.

Emirates deploys Premium Economy in 11 markets, rising to 13 by year-end

Emirates currently flies its A380s with its Premium Economy cabin on route linking Dubai to London Heathrow, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, Singapore, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Houston and San Francisco. It says flights are “regularly registering full seat loads”. It has now operated close to 4,500 flights with Premium Economy.

The airline now plans to make Premium Economy available to customers flying to/from Mumbai and Bengaluru from 29-Oct-2023, with additional cities expected to be added. Emirates currently operates 20 aircraft fitted with Premium Economy, 14 of which were retrofitted in-house by the Emirates Engineering team in Dubai over the course of the last nine months.

The Premium Economy roll-out is a core component of the airline’s multi-billion-dollar retrofit programme which will see the interior upgrade on 67 Emirates A380 cabins, as well as 53 Boeing 777 cabins. By the end of the programme, over 4,000 Premium Economy seats will be installed, along with over 700 First Class suites and 5,000 Business Class seats refurbished with the latest interiors.

Pre-ordering meal service now available on London routes

Emirates is also debuting an innovative initiative of meal preordering, whereby customers will be able to preselect their hot main meal between 14 days and 24 hours in advance of their flight, ensuring they get their preferred meal choice every time, as well as helping to reduce food wastage.

The initiative has been rolled out in Business Class, on all flights between Dubai and London Heathrow, London Gatwick, and London Stansted. Up to 14 days before a flight, passengers will be able to browse the onboard menu on Emirates.com or on the Emirates app and choose from a selection of regionally inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients. Passengers can also pre-order special meals if required.

On the aircraft, cabin crew will use a custom-built application on a device to view the meal selection and serve the passenger their choice of hot dish. Emirates plans to expand the meal preorder initiative to more routes and classes in the near future and is closely monitoring customer feedback from the initial roll out phase.

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