Emirates may have underestimated value of premium economy, says Clark

Airline is looking seriously into cabin size and rows as it looks to bring the new cabin product to the market
Emirates is looking to play catch up with its competitors in the premium economy segment of travel, the airline’s president Sir Tim Clark has said.
By Shayan Shakeel
Sun 03 Dec 2017 08:57 AM

Emirates is looking to play catch up with its competitors in the premium economy segment of travel, the airline’s president Sir Tim Clark has said.

The Dubai carrier announced last year that it was “seriously considering” introducing the premium economy option for some of its aircraft.

Premium economy is levelled at between economy class and business class and considered as a potentially lucrative product option for airlines facing tough macroeconomic conditions.

“We may have underestimated the demand for premium economy, but we are looking at premium economy seriously now,” Clark told sister publication, Aviation Business, in an interview.

Most global demand for the class of travel came about in the last decade, according to Clark, “when global demand for premium economy was pretty flaky.”

With travellers’ propensity to pay more for premium but not move into business increasing, Emirates is looking at making changes to the cabin, Clark said.

“We’re considering whether the cabin is big enough, if we need to add another couple rows, and what the risk and reward are,” he said.

Clark didn’t provide a timeframe for when Emirates will begin testing the product on flights. However, at the 100th A380 delivery event in Hamburg, Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed hinted that the airline would be getting ready to deliver the new cabin class “very soon.”

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