The president of Emirates, Tim Clark, got everyone’s hopes up when he indicated that the airline is prepared to introduce premium economy on the carrier’s aircraft. However, seemingly, the new product hit its second stumbling block and was delayed once again.
Clark noted in 2019 that the new cabin product would be introduced on newly delivered Airbus A380 and Boeing 777X aircraft in 2020, with the latter taking the crown of being the first aircraft with the new premium economy seats in Emirates’ fleet. However, with problems regarding the 777X’s power plant, the GE9X, the folding wing-tip jet was delayed until 2021, taking the introduction of premium economy together with it.
While the airline planned to also retrofit older aircraft with the new product, the circumstances that surround the industry have changed significantly with the coronavirus outbreak.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will have a huge impact on our 2020-21 performance,” stated the airline’s CEO Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, as he noted that passenger operations were temporarily suspended since March 25, 2020. “We continue to take aggressive cost management measures, and other necessary steps to safeguard our business,” added Maktoum, indicating that travel would return to normal levels in 18 months’ time, as the airline reported its FY2020 financial results.
Consequently, once again, the premium product onboard Emirates‘ fleet was delayed for the second time, reported Executive Traveller. The airline argued that the main priority right now is to ensure its liquidity going into the future, which is under threat, much alike to the rest of the world.