Continuing Protests Prompt Emirates To Cut Hong Kong Capacity

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.

Dubai Airshow, Aircraft, 2019
Emirates is the latest carrier to cut capacity to Hong Kong. Photo: Emirates

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.

Emirates A380
Emirates is going to swap and A380 for a Boeing 777-300ER on one of three daily flights to Hong Kong. Photo: Simple Flying

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.

Emirates Shower Spa
Emirates First Class passengers will lose out on the onboard shower with the equipment swap. Photo: Emirates

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, Bespoke, Airbus A380
Emirates is scheduled to return the A380 to twice daily operations to Hong Kong from mid-December. Photo: Emirates

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.

Continuing Protests Prompt Emirates To Cut Hong Kong Capacity
Emirates also has the A330-900neo, a smaller twin-engine aircraft, on order. Photo: Airbus

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.

Emirates A380 lounge
The onboard lounge on an Emirates Airbus A380. Photo: Emirates

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!