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Inside Emirates’ new Premium Economy cabin

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What can you expect from Emirates' new cabin and how much will it cost?

On 2 August, the first Emirates A380 fitted out with its new Premium Economy seats landed in Australia.

Since then, it's been operating daily services from Sydney to Dubai, giving Aussies that much more luxury in the skies.

So is it all that?

We took a tour of the cabin and here's what impressed us the most.

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There are 56 Premium Economy seats

Premium Economy cabins can vary in size from 30 up to 60 seats, depending on the aircraft.

Since it's an A380, Emirates has managed to dedicate 56 seats to Premium Economy, effectively upgrading its whole front section.

It's laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration, which is ideal for anyone travelling in pairs or for a larger family of 2 adults and 2 children.

Plus, being at the pointy end of the plane (Business and First Class are on the level above), you'll be given priority when disembarking.

It's made to look and feel like business class

All effort has been made to make this cabin feel like business class – from its wood panel finishing to the glass of Chandon you'll be given upon arrival.

The non-stain seats are made of soft leather that you can literally sink into.

Couple that with a 6-way adjustable headrest, extra legroom and footrests and you're right to fall asleep on that 14-hour flight to Dubai.

First row Emirates Premium Economy seats

There's plenty of legroom

Let's face it, one of the perks of a cabin upgrade is being able to stretch out.

Emirates' Premium Economy doesn't disappoint with a seat pitch of up to 40 inches and an 8-inch recline for all seats – even those at the very back of the cabin.

If you're after the best seat in the house, Emirates divisional vice president for Australasia Barry Brown told Finder to go for the front row on either side of the plane (seats A, B, J or K in row 33).

You'll get even more legroom than the rest. Plus, you won't have to pay any extra for it. However, you will have to book early before someone else snaps them up.

Emirates food offerings - Premium Economy

Premium dining

You know you're living it up when your in-flight meal is served on tableware.

Making it that much more luxurious, Emirates' meals are served on Royal Doulton china and with stainless steel cutlery.

Dishes include buttermilk pancakes with coconut chia pudding and fresh fruit for breakfast. It's braised beef cheeks or roasted chicken with roasted pumpkin salad and vanilla panna cotta for lunch.

We particularly loved the few local touches added to each meal, specifically the pat of Pepe Saya butter and slices of Bega cheese.

Emirates amenities on seat

Sustainable amenities

Emirates is making a conscious effort towards sustainability and it shows in its amenities.

The blankets are made from recycled plastic bottles and the amenities kit is made of reusable and washable kraft paper.

Inside is a pair of socks, toothbrush, toothpaste and eye mask all made from environment-friendly materials.

What's the cost?

Flights from Sydney to Dubai in the new Premium Economy will set you back $3,200 each way. We took a look and right now, the cheapest we could find was for $3,123.09 on 3 February 2023.

To put that into perspective, an economy seat for the same date costs $1,437.09.

If you've got Qantas points, a one-way seat in Premium Economy requires 124,800 Qantas points for a Classic Reward. On top of that, there are about $1,039 in carrier charges.

This upgrade is part of a larger rollout across Emirates' fleet of 120 Airbus A380s and Boeing 777 aircraft. This is great news for travellers on the lookout for more premium options.

By April 2025, Emirates will install nearly 4,000 new Premium Economy seats, refurbish 728 First Class suites and upgrade more than 5,000 Business Class seats.

Excited to fly? Keep on top of the latest Emirates sales and deals here.

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