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Emirates: Profit and premium Economy

Emirates: Profit and premium Economy

Emirates Profit, despite COVID-19 for the last 12 months was 21% up on the previous year at US$288 million. If you widen the results out to include other divisions of the Group like dnata, then the profit totals US$456 million

What happened to the effect of COVID-19 you may ask? Well, the Emirates financial reporting period ended on March 31, so they really only saw a week of effect, since they suspended all flights on 23 March.

Don’t expect their 2021 results to look so rosy.

Premium Economy – delayed or not?

Just about now was when Emirates was going to introduce its Premium Economy class on refurbished A380’s. Emirates is a very late convert to this cabin concept, previously arguing that it would cannibalise Business Class.

There are conflicting reports about whether the airline is delaying the launch due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The advent of this cabin has not been easy. It has been affected by the delay in the launch of the Boeing 777X aircraft (pushed back by 6 months). Then expected to be debuted on newly delivered A380’s later this year, and slowly rolled out as a retrofit to existing aircraft – B777 and A380’s.

The launch of a new Premium Economy cabin would not usually excite the industry too much, but with rumours that the new seat is the completely new Eclipse product from HAECO.

Announced in April 2019 at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, the new seat was to have its debut on:

‘The launch customer − an as yet unnamed Middle East-based airline − will begin flying with the seats in 2020.’

HAECO press release, 3 April 2019

The seats are distinctive due to their staggered format which the manufacturer trumpets as a way to increase in cabin capacity:

“The unique advantages of the Eclipse seat, together with the integrated cabin, can create up to a 14% increase in PAX within the same cabin space.”

Doug Rasmussen, President and Group Director of HAECO Cabin Solutions

2PAXfly Takeout

I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand

I’m not sure about these seats if they are indeed what Emirates will be installing. The staggering makes them very private, but very weird to get in and out of, or at least that’s the way they look in the images.

The seat has 38 inches of pitch (that’s 6 inches more than economy) and 10 of recline, and is described as a ‘sleeperette’ style of cradle seat. Think old style business class, without any possibility of going flat.

The question is now, not is the Eclipse the seat they will install, but when will they launch the new Premium Economy cabin in the light of COVID-19. Keep to schedule, or delay it? You decide.


  1. Jeannine Roman

    Of course Emirates is doing well. Any airline which does not refund tickets for flights the airline cancelled will have a great looking balance sheet. The internet (i.e., Trip Advisor) is FLOODED with stories of Emirates passengers not getting their refunds. Not only does Emirates not refund completely refundable tickets, they ignore all communication. Emailing senior corporate officers results in silence. As bad as AA is regarding refunds, at least we have the DOT to back up passengers.

    If you have a ticket on an Emirates cancelled flight, just consider that you have given Emirates an interest-free loan.

    Why does Emirates think they can get away with this? Because they can!

    • 2paxfly

      Hi Jeannine,
      Thanks for your comment. I am hoping that you will receive your refund soon. I am in a similar boat over an airfare with Emirates, although it is complicated by having been booked through a travel agent, and I am in Australia, where different consumer law may apply. I am hoping that both your and my refund are being held up by the sheer volume of transactions needing to be processed, and the reduced staff that most airlines are operating within their call centres, and back-office. If that’s not the case and they are just being recalcitrant, I will be the first to bombard them with outrage.


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