Emirates premium economy unveiled on new Airbus A380 superjumbo

Emirates has unveiled its first premium economy cabin, but passengers won't actually be able to book the new seats - not for the moment, at least.

The new seats feature on the latest Airbus A380 to be delivered to the airline, which arrived in Dubai last week.

The premium economy cabin features 56 seats in a 2-4-2 cabin layout, with a seat pitch (legroom) of 40 inches (102 cm) and a width of 19.5 inches (50 cm). The seat reclines eight inches (20 cm).

Take a look at the new premium economy seats, and other revamped A380 cabins, in the photo gallery above.

That's about the same size as premium economy on a Qantas A380, but with two inches more pitch than a Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner's premium economy seat.

The seats feature cream-coloured anti-stain leather and wood panel finishing similar to that found in the airline's business class. There's a 34-cm entertainment screen, in-seat power chargers, a wide dining table and a cocktail table.

The airline has announced the first route to feature the new class will be Dubai-London, starting Monday, January 4.

But passengers hoping to book a seat in the new cabin won't be able to just yet. Emirates has said that, for the time being, it will only offer premium economy seats as "discretionary" upgrades to "valued customers".

"Until we have a viable number of seats in our inventory to bring to market, we plan to offer the Emirates premium economy experience as a complimentary upgrade to valued customers," said Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates.

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"We are confident that our Premium Economy will also make its mark as a distinct premium offering," he said.

The airline has also refreshed its seats in the other cabins, including replacing all economy class seats with a new ergonomic design.

The new superjumbo is one of three delivered to Emirates by Airbus in December, even as production of the world's largest passenger jet winds down and other airlines, including Qantas, put their A380s into long-term storage while waiting for international travel to pick up.

Emirates' home of Dubai is currently open to visitors, with the airline becoming the world's first to offer automatic COVID-19 insurance cover as part of its fares since July last year.

The airline is continuing to fly to Australia in a limited capacity, despite our borders being closed to non-Australian citizens.

See also: Qantas ready to move long-haul planes from out of storage

See also: 'COVID-19 has terminated my career': Hero of A380 flight QF32 grounded

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