EMIRATES could be moving closer towards premium economy seats to cater to a middle ground between economy and business class passengers, according to a report by Australian Business Traveller.
The report noted that the streamlining of its global fleet to just two aircraft types – the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 – is an indication that premium economy seats could be introduced in the near future.
Business Traveller said that the three biggest gulf-based airlines – Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways – don’t offer premium economy seats.
This is because some say the Gulf carriers are in the volume game, while others claim it’s because of their complex networks. However, you could argue that economy class seats on the three main Gulf carriers are a match for their rivals’ premium economy seats.
The report added that premium economy on Emirates would boost its yield and attract passengers who prefer to fly non-stop, especially from Europe. If Emirates takes the plunge, Etihad and Qatar Airways is projected to follow suit.
In other news, Emirates has seen a sharp decline in profits in the first half of the current fiscal year, and the outlook is said to “bleak”.
Besides a tough climate, the airline also battles fierce competition from Etihad and Qatar Airways, both which are expanding their fleet and route networks, as well as developing new airport terminals.