Emirates airline’s recent introduction of ‘premium economy’ seats is indicative of shrewd long-term decision making, according to experts. The Dubai-owned airline announced on January 3 that it would deploy its latest flagship A380 aircraft featuring new premium economy seats and enhancements across all cabins to London Heathrow. While the seats are not yet bookable, passengers flying on the daily EK003/004 flight can experience the new-look premium economy as a discretionary upgrade until more seats are rolled out commercially and at scale. According to Tobias Rueckerl, president and CEO, Advanced Aviation Consulting Limited (AACL), Emirates would likely have had the plan in the offing for “three to four years” but now is a “good time” to roll out the Middle East’s first premium economy offering. “This is might seem a strange time to launch this product but it’s not a bad move,” said Rueckerl. “The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for [aviation] developments that have been coming to pass for years. More and more global airlines have decided to remove first-class products, upgrade business class products and install premium economy,” he said. Global trends such as business teleconferencing and scaling back luxury corporate travel have been on the rise since the onset of the financial ...read more...