Inside the Emirates Premium Economy cabin aboard EK9022, a showcase Premium Economy flight, in Dubai on Tuesday. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The term ‘Premium Economy’ may seem like an oxymoron, but as a holder of one of Emirates’ first Premium Economy boarding passes in Dubai, I can safely say it is a class of its own.

Emirates today launched an exclusive Premium Economy showcase with select invitees on board EK9022, ahead of its official launch next month. Starting August 1, Emirates Premium Economy will be available on its A380 flights to three key destinations – London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Sydney in Australia. And if today’s preview is anything to go by, there will be many takers for the experience.

Emirates Premium Economy will be officially launched to three destinations from August 1. Image Credit: Seyyed de L'lata

Adil Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, told Gulf News: “The introduction of the new class of travel was a result of our survey of the market. We realised that Premium Economy would be a huge advantage, something our passengers could gain from.”

Adil Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates, at Gate B17, Terminal 3, Dubai International on Tuesday. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

In other words, Premium Economy gives Economy passengers a chance to upgrade their seats with more comfort. At the same time, they would spend less than they would if they were to fly Business or First Class.

But just how do Emirates Premium Economy fares, cabins, seats and other features compare with offerings across other classes?

Gulf News did a comparative analysis of the different classes of travel that Emirates offers, so you can decide what suits you best. From basic fares, check-in facilities, baggage allowance and lounge access to cabin and seat comfort, dining and entertainment, we look at what you can expect with Premium Economy vis-à-vis Economy, Business and First Class on an Emirates flight (see infographics).

Consider the fares. If you take the Dubai-London Heathrow flight for example, Premium Economy return fares start from Dh8,295, as against Dh20,405 for Business; similarly, on the Dubai-Paris route, they begin at Dh8,205 as against Dh22,175 for Business; and on Dubai-Sydney, Dh16,605 vis-a-vis Dh33,045 for Business. Economy return fares on the three routes start at Dh3,975, Dh3,965 and Dh8,035 respectively.

Emirates' starting fares compared across different classes on three Emirates' Premium Economy flights from August 1. Image Credit: Seyyed de L'lata/Gulf News

From a dedicated check-in area and extra baggage allowance to enhanced cabin/seat comfort and fine dining options, there are many upgrades that Premium Economy passengers get to enjoy. And as the crew inside the Premium Economy cabin aboard the A380 plane today went to great lengths to explain, the 56 seats available to them can provide a new level of comfort.

Area 6 in Terminal 3 Check-in section is dedicated for Premium Economy passengers at Dubai International airport. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Situated on the lower deck ahead of the Economy Class (First and Business are on the upper deck), the separate Premium Economy cabin has a very spacious and relaxing feel about it, with a 2-4-2 seat configuration.

The tasteful cream-coloured leather seats are also wide (19.5 inches) with a generous pitch of up to 40 inches. They can incline into a cradle position up to 8 inches or lie at 118.7 degrees in a fully reclined position. The seats have adjustable headrests, besides calf rests and foot rests.

Al Redha said Emirates plans to refit nearly 130 aircraft - A380 or Boeing – with the Premium Economy cabin over the next two-and-half years. Which means it is only a matter of time before Emirates launches Premium Economy to all its destinations.

Check-in, baggage allowance, cabins and seats compared across all classes on Emirates flights with Premium Economy. Image Credit: Seyyed de L'lata/Gulf News
Emirates food & beverage and entertainment options compared across all classes. Image Credit: Seyyed de L'lata/Gulf News