Emirates has announced plans to retrofit an additional 43 Airbus A380s and 28 Boeing 777 aircraft with features including a refreshed first class, new business class seats and the addition of premium economy.

The carrier first unveiled plans for what it referred to as the “largest known fleet retrofit” project in August 2022, with the refurbishment of 67 A38os and 53 777s.

The first retrofitted A380 entered service in January 2023, and 22 superjumbos have so far been refurbished.

First retrofitted Emirates A380 enters service

The first 777 will undergo its retrofit in July this year, with a refreshed first class cabin, new business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout (meaning the end of the dreaded middle seat), and the addition of 24 premium economy seats.

Note that 50 economy seats are being removed to make way of the new premium economy cabin.

With the additional aircraft the project will now see a total of 191 aircraft retrofitted. Emirates said that once the project has been completed it will have installed 8,104 premium economy seats, refreshed 1,894 first class suites, and upgraded 11,182 business and 21,814 economy seats.

The gradual rollout of the carrier’s premium economy product means customers can now opt for the seat on routes to / from Dubai, New York JFK, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, London Heathrow, Sydney, Auckland, Christchurch, Melbourne, Singapore, Mumbai, Bangalore and Sao Paulo, with Osaka joining the list in early June.

The airline’s forthcoming A350 aircraft will also feature premium economy when they are delivered from September this year.

The new aircraft will initially be deployed on nine routes, including Emirates’ Edinburgh service which is set to resume in November.

Emirates to resume Edinburgh flights with new A350 aircraft

Commenting on the news Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, said:

“We’re topping up our multi-billion dollar investment in the retrofit programme to introduce cutting-edge cabin products on more of our A380s and Boeing 777s, demonstrating a clear commitment to elevating the customer experience with a best-in-class suite of products across every cabin.

“The addition of more aircraft fitted with our newest generation seats, updated cabin finishings and a contemporary colour palette also marks a significant step in ensuring more customers can consistently experience our premium products across both aircraft types.”