Passengers of Emirates were surprised in the past when the airline opted not to offer a Premium Economy fares. The Dubai-based airline, famous for its award-winning Business and First Class seating areas, stated that it wasn't going to incorporate this product into its fleet.
However, as the airline industry continued to change, Emirates announced that all of its new Airbus A380's would be equipped with a new Premium Economy section and that the airline would start converting over all of its older A380's and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft during 2020 and 2021. Passengers were thrilled to hear that announcement.
Then came COVID-19. The pandemic has hit the airline industry very hard as many countries have been closed to visitors, and most people stay away from flying because of the enclosed space. Emirates has gone from operating 153 planes daily to operating just the bare minimum number of flights a week to help move people as well as essential goods.
The airline has just officially stated that all plans for a Premium Economy Class have now been placed on hold. The CEO for Emirates noted that all projects are currently on hold as the airline is focusing on remaining liquid during these hard times. He further stated that due to the pandemic, the need for A380's might be a thing of the past. This is a huge statement for an airline that operates the most A380 jets in the industry!
As borders slowly reopen, the demand for flights will hopefully increase though nobody knows how soon this could happen. Most people in the industry believe that airlines will suffer setbacks for at least another year before people feel comfortable enough to fly, and it's anyone's guess as to when Emirates' Premium Economy may be introduced.