Emirates adds premium economy services on A380 Superjumbo flights to India

Emirates will add premium economy services on its flights to and from Mumbai and Bengaluru later this month as it looks to win over affluent consumers in the world’s most-populous nation amid rising competition.

The premium economy cabin on the double decker Airbus SE A380 jets feature 56 cream-colored seats at the front of the main deck in a 2-4-2 configuration, Dubai-based Emirates said at a briefing in Mumbai on Thursday.

“Luxury travel is back and the demand is crazy,” Mohammad Sarhan, Emirates’ vice president for India and Nepal, said.

Emirates’ introduction of premium economy on the three- to four-hour routes comes as Air India Ltd. tries to take advantage of its nonstop services to the US and Europe and claw back market share from Gulf airlines that transit through hubs in the Middle East.

Air India, which placed an order for 470 Airbus and Boeing Co. planes in February, has also revamped its brand and began offer-ing premium economy on its Boeing 777-200LR jets in May on certain flights to the US.

Emirates’ seats are 19.5 inches (50 centimeters) wide, with calf and leg rests, along with adjustable headrests, and can recline as much as 8 inches. Each has a 13.3-inch screen for inflight entertainment, including live news and sport broadcasts, and a polished wood cocktail table.

Passenger traffic between India and the UAE stood at 4.7 million people in the quarter through June.

Emirates first launched its premium economy offering in August 2022. It’s already available on flights to London, Sydney, Auckland, Christchurch, Melbourne, Singapore, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, and San Francisco.

The service will also be deployed on Sao Paulo and Tokyo flights before the end of 2023, the airline said on Thursday.

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