Emirates Premium Economy
Premium Economy gives passengers a chance to upgrade their Economy seats with more comfort, spending much less than they would for Business or First Class. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: After completing flight EK928 from Cairo to Dubai on Monday, A380 aircraft A6-EVM was steered to Hanger E at the Emirates Engineering Centre for a complete makeover. And this is just the first of 120 aircraft earmarked for a serious facelift.

For the next 16 days, teams of engineers and technicians will take apart the entire cabin interior of the A380 and put it back together again in a carefully planned and tested sequence. The goal is a full cabin interior upgrade and the installation of the airline’s latest Premium Economy seats.

Premium Economy on Emirates is available on Emirates' A380 flights to London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Sydney in Australia. Premium Economy gives passengers a chance to upgrade their Economy seats with more comfort, spending much less than they would for Business or First Class. The airline has announced plans to introduce Premium Economy service on its routes to New York JFK, San Francisco, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore, by end of March 2023.

Emirates Refurbishing Team
A team of dedicated Emirates Engineers will implement a full cabin refresh and refit of 120 aircraft by March 2025 Image Credit: Supplied

As part of the upgrade, thousands of parts will be removed, replaced, or receive a facelift. Even Emirates’ famous Shower Spa will feature new colour tones with a hand-stencilled motif of a Ghaf tree, the airline said in a media statement on Tuesday.

The process

A team of engineers will first remove the window seats in Economy class, freeing up space for another team to remove the side panels of the cabin interiors. These panels will go straight to one of three purpose-built workshops to be laminated with Emirates’ latest colour tones.

To make room for the 56 Premium Economy class seats, 88 Economy seats at the front of the main deck will be removed.

Business Class seats will be dismantled, repainted and re-upholstered with new leather at Emirates Engineering, while First Class seats will be sent to a specialist at Dubai World Central (DWC) for refurbishing.

All carpets and floorings throughout the aircraft cabins will be replaced before the refurbished seats are re-installed. At the Emirates Engineering Centre, purpose-built workshops have been set up and stocked with parts and equipment for the project.

Three-year project

The second aircraft scheduled for a makeover, A6-EUW, will roll into Emirates Engineering Centre on December 1. By May 2024, all 67 A380s earmarked for the retrofit programme will be back in service and Emirates will then begin work on 53 of its Boeing 777s. By March 2025, all 120 retrofitted aircraft will be back in service.

In addition to recruiting 190 additional staff for the project, Emirates is also engaged with 62 key partners and suppliers who have hired hundreds more skilled hands for the biggest-known aircraft retrofit programme in modern commercial aviation.