As Emirates’ Premium Economy rollout continues, Sydney-based flyers are now a little spoiled. The Sydney-Dubai route stakes its claim as the first – and currently, only – city pair in Emirates’ global network with Premium Economy now available on every flight.

In fact, Emirates is the only Middle Eastern carrier serving Australia with a Premium Economy cabin at all. The airline’s key competitors, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, offer standard Economy as well as an extra legroom alternative – but not a separate Premium Economy cabin.

Emirates’ Premium Economy flight schedule for Sydney

With Premium Economy now on every Emirates flight to and from Sydney, travellers are free to fly when it’s most convenient for them – knowing their preferred cabin will be ready and waiting.

Here’s an overview of Emirates’ Sydney flights: all of which now sport Premium Economy every day.

RouteFlight numberDeparture timeArrival timeAircraft type
Sydney to DubaiEK4156 am1:20 pmAirbus A380
Dubai to SydneyEK4142 am10:30 pmAirbus A380
Sydney to DubaiEK4139:45 pm5:15 am (+1)Airbus A380
Dubai to SydneyEK41210:15 am7 amAirbus A380

On the Airbus A380, Emirates Premium Economy is located at the front of the main deck. Designed in a 2-4-2 layout, 56 seats reside ahead of the standard Economy cabin. That’s two fewer seats in each Premium Economy row, versus Economy.

Emirates is making a significant investment in its cabin experience as part of its A380 retrofit programme. Now, with two services offering Australians Premium Economy, Sydney sits at the forefront of this programme which is a testament to our commitment to Australia and the demand we are seeing from customers.

– Barry Brown, Divisional Vice President Australasia at Emirates, 15 December 2022

The schedule above allows up to 224 Emirates Premium Economy passengers to come and go from Sydney each day.

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Premium Economy spreads its wings beyond Sydney

Right now, only a small number of Emirates’ planes offer Premium Economy. These are mostly brand-new jets, which have been appearing on Emirates’ recent Sydney flights. But the carrier is also upgrading a significant portion of its existing fleet, allowing the introduction of Premium Economy more broadly.

Cabin crew in Sydney in Emirates Premium Economy
Premium Economy will be available on more Emirates flights as the rollout continues.

The airline claims it’s ‘the largest known aircraft refurbishment program in aviation history.’ At a cost of US$2 billion (AU$2.899 billion), 120 aircraft will be refitted in total. That’s spread across 67 Airbus A380 superjumbos and 53 Boeing 777s.

Emirates expect its Airbus A380 refurbishments will be complete by 2024. Work on those Boeing 777s will then commence, set for final completion in 2025.

First Class, Business Class and Economy Class get a refresh

Along with the introduction of Premium Economy, Emirates is also taking the chance to refresh its other cabins. On Emirates’ Airbus A380, that means First Class, Business Class and Economy Class will all have a new feel on flights to and from Sydney.

It should be said, these upgrades are more cosmetic than significant. For example, the overhaul in First Class isn’t bringing the airline’s ‘Game Changer’ First Class suites to the Airbus A380. Instead, the existing suites take on a fresh look and feel while retaining the same base design.

The same is true of the Airbus A380’s First Class shower spas, which retain their current footprint. They’ll just gain new hand-stencilled panels as part of the overhaul as a subtle upgrade.

It’s a similar scenario in Business Class. After refurbishments, seats will sport Emirates’ latest cream-coloured leather upholstery. The cabins also play home to lighter-toned wood finishings and the airline’s now signature ghaf tree motif. That takes a leaf from those ‘Game Changer’ First Class suites, and the design found on the carrier’s newest frequent flyer cards.

Here’s a look at how the cabin overhaul takes place, along with the introduction of Premium Economy:

Customers will notice the difference the moment they step onboard – the spacious A380 will look and feel even more impressive and comfortable. With our latest interiors and products, this newly refurbished aircraft elevates our inflight experience in all classes of travel, and enables us to offer more Premium Economy seats to meet customer demand.

– Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, 6 January 2023

Flying Emirates from Sydney: summing up

Travellers jetting from Sydney to the Middle East and beyond can now look forward to a fresh travel experience with Emirates. These upgrades also elevate the carrier’s product significantly above what its UAE-based rival Etihad is running on comparable Australian routes.

Premium Economy is also now available on other selected Emirates flights. But until the rollout makes further progress, Sydney is the only destination for which the cabin is guaranteed. By extension, that also makes Sydney the only Emirates route where its other refreshed cabins can also be spotted on every flight.

Emirates flights can be booked using Skywards miles and Qantas Points. However, the airline is currently levying significant carrier charges on these bookings – well above the fees charged by other airlines for comparable tickets.

Also read: Last chance to transfer Citi, Diners Club and Suncorp points to Emirates Skywards

Video footage and imagery courtesy of Emirates.

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Emirates Premium Economy now on every Sydney flight as rollout continues was last modified: August 24th, 2023 by Chris Chamberlin