Emirates announced plans to debut its newly retrofitted A380 passenger planes featuring its latest Premium Economy cabins to five more cities across the United from December 2022.  

The airline will roll out its Premium Economy seats to New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Melbourne (MEL), Auckland (AKL), and Singapore (SIN). The airline’s latest plans will also see the return of 85 A380s by the end of the year, which it sees as “well-timed to serve the year-end travel demand”.  

Emirates explained in a press release on September 1, 2022 that the freshly retrofitted A380s will start serving New York flights from December 1, 2022 and Auckland from January 15, 2023. Melbourne will become the second Australian destination to be served with the enhanced A380s starting February 1, 2023, while the aircraft will land in Singapore for the first time on March 1.  

San Francisco will become the second US destination to be served by the retrofitted A380 on February 15. Emirates will also update its schedules to London Heathrow and Sydney.   

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Emirates is investing more than $2 billion to improve its inflight passenger experience. 
 

“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,” the air carrier added.  

Retrofitted Jumbos to serve dozens of Emirates destinations  

Emirates travelers will have an opportunity to try out the Premium Economy cabin across a total of 42 destinations by the end of March 2023. In the meantime, the airline aims to serve approximately one-third of its network with its renewed flagship A380 fleet. The carrier’s main goal is to recover at least 75% of its pre-pandemic A380 network by the end of 2022.   

“In tandem, the airline is optimizing 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,” Emirates explained.  

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Multi-billion-dollar investment 

In early August 2022, Emirates announced its plan to invest more than $2 billion to improve its inflight passenger experience, including a new ‘Fly Better’ program to retrofit more than 120 passenger planes with upgraded interiors alongside a host of other cabin improvements.   

The majority of the airline’s investment is dedicated to the refurbishment of aircraft interiors.   

Emirates aims to retrofit cabins with either new or reupholstered seats as well as new paneling, flooring, and other features, including improvements to its in-flight systems. Starting November 2022, the carrier plans to upgrade the interior cabins on 67 Airbus A380s and 53 Boeing 777 passenger jets with a single plane rolling out from Emirates Engineering Centre into active 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 said.  

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Some carriers are getting rid of first class but there are plenty of other airlines still offering luxurious cabins onboard.