Emirates launching premium economy class on Auckland flights in January 2023

Emirates has announced the new date for the launch of its premium economy class on New Zealand flights after postponing the original planned date.

The new option will be available from January 15, 2023 on direct flights on the Auckland-Dubai route with the airline's Airbus A380s.

Emirates services to and from Christchurch will now restart on March 26, the airline said, after initially being planned to kick off in December.

Several other airlines, including Air New Zealand, already offer a premium economy option.

Earlier this year when the new class was first announced, Emirates Regional Manager for NZ Chris Lethbridge told Newshub it is so good it rivals the business class offering of some other airlines.

"We're really happy with the seat. It's a full leather seat with wood panelling; it has extra recline and legroom, so it's quite similar to the business class seats," he said.

"Then there's all those other little business class-style trimmings around meal selection, getting stainless steel cutlery, chinaware and linen when you're served your meal, the pre-departure wines, the dedicated check-in - it all adds up and I think customers will feel like they're in business class."

The new class was originally set to debut in Aotearoa in December on the Christchurch services.

Beyond the New Zealand flights, the newly retrofitted Emirates A380s with premium economy will also operate on services to New York JFK, San Francisco, Melbourne and Singapore.

Emirates said it plans to add premium economy seats on services to London Heathrow and Sydney as its fleet update is rolled out internationally.