Emirates is now the latest carrier to cut capacity to Hong Kong. For the next month, Emirates will temporarily offer a reduced number of seats between its major hub in Dubai and Hong Kong.
Emirates will reduce Hong Kong capacity through December
Routesonline reports that, through December 12, 2019, Emirates will be swapping an Airbus A380 out for a Boeing 777-300ER on one of three daily flights. EK382, which departs Dubai at 03:15 local time and arrives in Hong Kong at 14:30. The return flight, EK383, departs Hong Kong at 18:00 local time and arrives in Dubai at 23:05.
Compared to the A380, not only is the 777-300ER smaller, but it also lacks some onboard amenities such as first class showers that have their own attendant.
However, passengers flying Emirates in December 2019 should be on the lookout. The sole remaining daily A380 flight to Hong Kong on Emirates through the next month has been canceled.
The situation in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has been rocked by protests recently. And, as the city has not settled down yet, tourists and business passengers alike are scaling back travel to the city. This has hit local giant Cathay Pacific quite hard. However, plenty of carriers are facing the crunch while the situation has improved for others. Qantas reported an AUD$25 million hit while United Airlines saw a recovery in numbers. Emirates, however, likely saw lower passenger numbers in Hong Kong through the next month, however, anticipates a return to normal.
Emirates and the A380
The A380 is much of a symbol for Emirates as Emirates is for the A380. However, operating the A380 means Emirates offers extensive capacity on several routes. And, while the airline still loves the aircraft, the A380 does have some disadvantages. In this case, it is harder for Emirates to fill the plane amid declining tourist numbers due to unrest. However, with a smaller twin-engine aircraft, Emirates likely could have avoided this situation of downgauging capacity.
Nevertheless, the A380 works well for Emirates in part because they have built up a huge connecting network out of Dubai. And, it appears that Hong Kong is still a successful market for the A380 since it is expected the jumbo jet will return to service on the Hong Kong route twice daily from mid-December.
The biggest change in this aircraft swap is for premium passengers flying Emirates to Hong Kong because they will lose out on some amazing amenities including an onboard shower and enhanced lounge.
Airlines are hoping for the situation in Hong Kong to return to normal in order to capitalize on the traditionally large passenger volumes flying to the world city. And, it appears that Emirates expects that the A380 will be profitable once again no two of three daily flights to Hong Kong.
Were you scheduled to fly on an Emirates A380 to Hong Kong? Will you fly Emirates to Hong Kong? Let us know in the comments!