Best Premium Economy Seat: Emirates Vs Etihad
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Emirates recently announced that it will launch a Premium Economy cabin and seats, and this week, seat manufacturer Haeco has unveiled a new Premium Economy seat and revealed their launch customer was a “Middle East-based carrier”.

At a guess, we think this Middle Eastern carrier is Emirates, and they should start flying Premium Economy next year (2020). Assuming we are right, then Emirates has chosen an “Eclipse” cabin layout which was unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week and pictured above.

The cabin can be modified to be either short-haul business class or long-haul premium economy as long-haul premium economy seats are quite similar to a short-haul first or business seat.

The width and layout look to be similar to premium-economy seating on all the main airlines. The slight difference is the staggered row layout.

The fixed-shell means that whether the person in front reclines their seat or not, you will not be affected. The seat is meant to span premium economy and business class because of the better privacy. If Emirates finalizes the deal, you can expect this to be one of the best Premium Economy products on the market.

The seat will run with an eight-across layout in a 787 cabin in a 2-4-2 configuration. Emirates wants to launch Premium Economy on their A380’s, but as this seat has not yet been certified for that aircraft type, we do not know the layout and how it would fit in the cabin.

Etihad Premium Economy

Etihad Airways is refitting and introducing Premium Economy seats on all of its Airbus A380 aircraft, with plans to introduce the extra space seating on its Boeing 777s and 787 Dreamliners next year.

Etihad Airways’ entire fleet of ten Airbus A380 is being retrofitted with 60 premium economy seats, called Economy Space, bringing the total number of extra legroom seats on each aircraft to 80. The new seats feature an increased seat pitch of up to 36 inches.

Emirates vs. Etihad Premium Economy

The truth is that Etihad’s Premium Economy is more like the ‘economy plus’ model of US airlines, where passengers have a standard economy seat but with extra legroom. This is not like Emirate’s full-blown premium economy, so when they are compared, Emirates is much, much better and always the Middle Eastern Airline to choose for Premium Economy. Of course, this all assumes that our assumptions are correct!

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