Emirates removes first class

emirates logoEmirates Airlines made the unexpected move of doing away with the first class cabin in its newest double-decker Airbus A380 jet which will seat 617 people – a record for the industry. This is more than Air France’s capacity of 538 passengers. Emirates is retaining a reduced business class though.

However, Emirates assures its passengers that comfort has not been sacrificed. Economy will continue to enjoy 32-inch legroom.

Doing away with first class is not a new industry phenomenon. Several legacy airlines reputed for their premium service including Singapore Airlines have long flown without first class on some routes, such a shift driven by increased popularity of business class and preference for this over first class, as well as the increased competition for seats in the aft.

While Middle East carriers – Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways among them – are often seen as leading the field in luxury, Emirates’ latest move demonstrates the business acumen of maximising resources to accommodate market demands, introducing the new 617-seater on density routes. The super jumbo will begin flying Dubai-Copenhagen on December 1, with plans to also fly to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

Interestingly the Gulf region is marked by an absence of budget carriers that have proliferated across the world. Next frontier?


About Dingzi
Writer by passion, with professional expertise in aviation, customer service and creative writing. Aviation veteran, author, editor and management consultant. Besides commentary on business issues and life-interest topics, travel stories and book reviews, genres include fiction, poetry and plays. Nature lover who abhors cruelty of any form to animals, and a tireless traveler. Above all, a dreamer.

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