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Did Sir Tim Clark “leak” details of Emirates’ Premium Economy seat?

December 10, 2020 Aviation, Headline News No Comments

According to Simply Flying Joanna Bailey, Emirates president Tim Clark has “leaked” more details of the airline’s premium economy seat, set to arrive on one of its incoming A380s later this month, with the seat confirmed to be a Recaro product, not the HAECO innovation many were hoping for and likely to be the Recaro PL3530.

It appears, according to SImple Flying that while Emirates has been trying to keep quiet about its new premium economy product until we can all see it in the flesh, Sir Tim has been issuing little teasers about the seat specifications over recent months, with this week in an exclusive interview with aero.de, Clark leaked that the seat manufacturer is indeed Recaro, although he noted the seat has been heavily modified, with in the interview, he is noted by the publication to have said,  “There are eight Recaro Sleeperette seats per row, a total of 58, which we have heavily adapted.”

Details of the precise seat have not been confirmed yet, but considering the other details shared by Sir Tim, Simple Flying says it can certainly narrow it down, with Sir Tim saying the seats would have 38 inches of pitch and would be located on the lower floor on the three-class A380s, and the upper floor on the two-class configurations.

He also is reported to have added, further said, “In many ways, the seat is similar to our business class seat.” The seat back can be tilted eight inches (20 cm) back, there are extendable footrests, and overall it’s a very comfortable cradle seat.”

Simple Flying says that as pictured, Vistara uses the Recaro PL3530 in its premium economy cabin, adding, that thinking about all these little details, the most likely candidate appears to be the Recaro PL3530 seat, as it is a popular model for premium economy and is already in use with Vistara for its new Dreamliner, with South Korean startup Air Premia has picked this model for its premium economy product, as has China Southern for its A350.

While Sir Tim says it will be ‘highly modified’, the extent of these modifications is yet to be revealed.

Simple Flying says that the Recaro PL3530 is a decent seat, popular with many airlines, however, if this is the case, then it’s a step down from the HAECO Eclipse seat that was hoped for, with HAECO having said last year that its innovative premium economy seat was being launched on a Middle East airline, and many had hoped it would be Emirates.

Simple Flying asks when will we see it with Emirates receiving the first of three A380s due to be delivered by the end of the year just this past weekend, with A6-EVL becoming the 116th A380 for the airline and has already been put into service, but it does not have the premium economy product installed, with Sir Tim saying that of the forthcoming two A380s to be delivered in December, just one would feature the premium economy cabin.

In his interview with aero.de, Sir Tim said that the first A380 with this cabin is about to be delivered to Airbus in Hamburg and pending final checks, it will arrive with Emirates later this month, with Sir Tim suggesting this could happen on December 20th.

Simple Flying says that however, it might be a bit longer before we see the cabin for sale, with Sir Tim saying the airline needs to get to a ‘critical mass’ of aircraft with the new cabin before it offers it for sale and he anticipates this happening in the middle of 2021.

An edited report from Simple Flying by John Alwyn-Jones

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