Inside Emirates new premium economy class
The Premium Economy Class is available on the airline's refurbished A380 fleet. The other Japan route with this Premium Economy is the Dubai-Narita one, which was introduced in December 2023. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: If UAE residents needed one more reason to travel to Japan, other than the 90-day e-visa, this could be it. Emirates announced that four A380s will be entering service on the Dubai-Osaka route, offering the Premium Economy Class option for travellers planning a Japan trip later this year.

The Dubai-Osaka route is far from a new one for Emirates, having recently celebrated 20 years of flying passengers between the cities. In 2023, the airline ferried 220,000 passengers on more than 360 flights between the two gateways.

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The new offering on this route would, the airline said, offer increased seat capacity on flights to and from Japan’s second-largest city, in addition to introducing refreshed interiors across First, Business and Economy Class cabins. Emirates also operates a daily four-class A380 service to Tokyo Narita, and a daily Boeing 777-300ER service to Tokyo Haneda.

Starting from June

From June 1, Emirates’ four-class A380 will replace the airline's Boeing 777-300ER aircraft currently operating the service to and from Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX). The change would mean 910 additional weekly seats between Dubai and Osaka on Emirates.

It was in November 2022 that the first Emirates A380 was pulled out of service for refurbishment. This included the installation of the Premium Economy Class cabins, as well as an upgrade on the rest of the aircraft and facilities. 120 such aircraft, including Boeing 777s, were earmarked for the upgrades.

Premium Economy Class
On a four-class Emirates A380, the Premium Economy cabin is located at the front of the main deck with the 56 seats laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration.
The airline's distinctive product is currently available on flights to 14 other destinations globally, including New York JFK, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, London Heathrow, Sydney, Auckland, Christchurch, Melbourne, Singapore, Mumbai, Bangalore, Sao Paulo and Dubai.

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In May, based on Emirates' earlier announcement, 63 A380s which were in for refurbishment would be ready for service. The airline had said that 53 Boeing 777s would then be retrofitted similarly, and those would go into service by March 2025.