Emirates Won’t Fly A380s To US, Slashes Schedule & First Class

Filed Under: Emirates

Update: Here’s what we can expect from Emirates’ 2021 schedule for US service.

Airlines have obviously been making significant changes to schedules, given the current unprecedented situation. While airlines have historically planned aircraft assignments a year in advance, nowadays we’re seeing airlines sometimes adjust schedules just days and weeks in advance.

Emirates has just updated its schedule for the northern winter (which applies for flights between October 25, 2020, and March 27, 2021), and my gosh, there are some significant service reductions, as noted by Routes Online.

Emirates will operate A380 skeleton fleet

Emirates is currently operating very few A380s, and that trend will continue through next summer. Emirates has only scheduled A380s to the following destinations during that period (note that in many cases only a limited number of frequencies in these markets are operated by A380s):

  • Amsterdam
  • Bangkok
  • Beijing
  • Cairo
  • Frankfurt
  • Guangzhou
  • Hong Kong
  • London Heathrow
  • Manchester
  • Mauritius
  • Mumbai
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • Shanghai

As you might notice, Emirates won’t fly any A380s to the US for the upcoming winter schedule.

Emirates is by far the world’s largest operator of the A380, with over 110 in its fleet. There has been talk about Emirates possibly retiring quite a few of these planes, though there hasn’t been any confirmation of that so far. I guess we’ll see if that happens.

Emirates will operate a very limited number of A380 flights

What will Emirates’ winter schedule look like?

I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but Emirates is greatly scaling back its US winter schedule. No destinations get A380s, virtually all destinations get reduced frequencies, and some destinations no longer get first class.

Here’s a rundown of Emirates’ US routes for the winter schedule:

  • Dubai to Athens to Newark — this route is resuming on December 2, and will operate 4x weekly with a 777-300ER (previously daily with a 777-300ER)
  • Dubai to Boston — this route will operate 4x weekly with a 777-300ER (previously daily with an A380)
  • Dubai to Chicago — this route will operate 5x weekly with a 777-300ER (previously daily with a 777-300ER)
  • Dubai to Dallas — this route will operate 4x weekly with a 777-300ER (previously daily with a 777-300ER)
  • Dubai to Fort Lauderdale — this route is canceled permanently, but that was previously announced
  • Dubai to Houston — this route will operate 3x weekly with a 777-200LR (previously daily with a 777-300ER); note that Emirates’ 777-200LRs don’t feature first class
  • Dubai to Los Angeles — this route will operate 4x weekly with a 777-300ER (previously daily with an A380)
  • Dubai to Milan to New York — this route will operate daily with a 777-200LR (previously daily with an A380); note that Emirates’ 777-200LRs don’t feature first class
  • Dubai to Newark — this route is canceled permanently
  • Dubai to New York — this route will operate daily with a 777-300ER (previously twice daily with an A380)
  • Dubai to Orlando — this route is canceled through at least June 1, 2021
  • Dubai to San Francisco — this route will operate 3x weekly with a 777-200LR (previously daily with an A380); note that Emirates’ 777-200LRs don’t feature first class
  • Dubai to Seattle — this route will operate 3x weekly with a 777-200LR (previously daily with a 777-300ER); note that Emirates’ 777-200LRs don’t feature first class
  • Dubai to Washington — this route will operate 4x weekly with a 777-300ER (previously daily with an A380)

Emirates will fly 777-300ERs on most US routes

To summarize, as you can see:

Emirates’ 777-200LR business class (there’s no first class)

Bottom line

It’s not surprising to see Emirates significantly scale back its winter schedule, given travel restrictions in place around the globe. In the case of the US specifically, Emirates won’t operate any A380s to US gateways, frequencies will be reduced, and a few routes will be operated by 777-200LRs, featuring a superior business class (at least compared to the 777-300ER) but no first class.

What do you make of Emirates’ service adjustments?

  1. As a DC denizen, I’ll miss the A380 for trips to and from IAD; I had a trip booked to South Africa in May that I didn’t take because of COVID, plus Emirates was grounded.

    The switch to the 777-300 is understandable, though I’ll miss the shower and the bar.

  2. For J travellers, replacing the A380 with a 777 is usually a huge seat downgrade — that weird 777 layout with a J seat stuck in the middle of 3 is horrible for solo travellers, and is far worse than most of its rivals (just compare with Qsuites).

    Emirates strategy seems to have gone random, after the announcement of the death of the A380.

  3. @ The nice Paul

    Ah, we meet again. Although you stopped replying to me, there is further post on the other thread in case you missed it.

    Alas we disagree yet again, EK’s strategy doesn’t seem random to me. The US is not letting many people in our out, whilst Europe is, so quite logical to pull the 380 for the time being. It is more expensive to run. Meanwhile, it won’t take long to redeploy should things change.

  4. Nothing all that surprising here, if anything I was more surprised by the number of cities they previously had multiple daily services to, and not just in the US, I also looked at the complete list of services in the linked Routes Online article.

    I was interested to see what was happening with their Australian services, and like those to the US, daily and twice daily have been reduced to a few a week, and some routes cancelled. The one that stuck out to me was that they are continuing their daily DXB-SYD-Christchurch service, albeit with a B777 rather than A380. That decision is somewhat perplexing.

  5. Glad to see the resumption of the fifth freedom routes, especially impressed that the Milan service will be daily!

  6. I certainly understand why they won’t be flying the A380, but in ultra long haul in J (Australia to UK) I’d actually fly with another airline before I’d fly in J in their old 777 seat. Admittedly a 2 am departure didn’t help, but I flew BNE-SIN-DXB-GLA last year all on the 777. No doubt it was better than Y, of course, but it didn’t have a premium feel to it at all.

  7. @Lucky, the fact that you only really covered the US flight changes despite them being a small minority of changes in the RoutesOnline article you linked seems a bit short-sighted. I take it you no longer particularly want readers outside of the US?

  8. @K4
    I gave up with your insane ramblings on Earl’s Court when, as proof that The Boltons was in SW5 not SW10, you included a link to The Little Boltons (a completely different street — the clue is in the fact it has a different name). The Boltons, which you said was in Earl’s Court, is in SW10, a postcode you claim is not in EC. Bonkers.

    Still, I guess it’s no surprise that you can therefore see sanity and logic in Emirates’ new fleet strategy.

  9. @ The nice Paul

    More likely you gave up because you lost.

    Good to know you think you’re more logical than one of the worlds largest airlines.

    You must be top of your game, which sounds a lot like failure to me, but who am I to judge.

    There you go, nothing to argue the toss over in this post, just an unkind farewell.

  10. Mumbai and Paris don’t get the A380 in NW20

    Dubai – Mumbai Reduce from 5 to 2 daily, 777-300ER operating (A380 removed in W20. Previous plan: 3 daily from 01DEC20)

    Dubai – Paris CDG Reduce from 3 to 2 daily. EK075/076 777-300ER replaces A380

  11. I am not surprised at the reduced schedule as well as downgrading the 380 its days are certainly numbered at least on a wide scale fleet deployment. Business is fine. Frankly from a business stand point does anyone really think there is that much demand to fill those pigs up? That is years away

  12. One thing that may be driving the aircraft ‘downgrades’ is cargo. With the reduced pax counts cargo becomes an even more important revenue source on these flights and the 777, especially the -300ER is a cargo hauling machine. The A380 comparatively can’t carry the volume or the weight like a 777 can.

  13. It seems like Emirates got caught in between a rock and a hard place. While Qatar Airways was busy modernizing their fleet and installing industry leading products and services for premium class passengers, Emirates just sat there like a fat kid at recess wondering what to do. Emirates now has a dated and over-capacity sized fleet with a subpar product due to the A380s being grounded. At least they can fly cargo to stay afloat in the short term. However, their once impressive US portfolio of service is reduced to hodge-podge of less than daily flying that might still be debatable if it even flies. I for one have zero confidence or trust in them operating, but I do trust Qatar because they never stopped flying throughout the Covid19 disaster.

    2023 is a long time to wait for the A350s and 787s to join the fleet and make an impact. If this was Tim Clark’s decision, his reputation is trashed along with all those that supported this blunder. I seem to recall him cancelling orders back in the mid-2010s for the ‘new-age’ fleet. I bet these same people are now running the company today. If so, can anyone say they’re surprised by this massive fall from grace? Good luck to those poor souls on the job search, because it’s coming sooner than they think!

  14. The 777s make sense in the shorter run as they can carry significantly more cargo than the A380. Also as I understood, the bars (not sure about the showers) will not be operational so some of the A380 cache of J class is lost.

    A side note- while the A380 seats are fully horizontal and no dreaded middle seat, the 777s have as much space overall. The newest 777-300ERs (the ones that also have the suites) are full lie-flat. and the 777-200LRs is an upgrade over the A380 I think (seat wise at least) as you get more space.

  15. I’m getting tired of the super spoiled, bragging, -billion super extra special mile, 12 star, I must have a shower & caviar wining travelers because their bathrobe & slippers aren’t pressed and warmed. 99% of us can’t afford to fly & should not be on airplanes and traveling during this awful pandemic. Get real sir! No one wants to hear how terrible Emirates Airlines has become. Please at least quit posting about how you should be given ROYAL SERVICE. PLEASE…. CR-

  16. Why you don’t take one for the team and take a long Emirates’ flight in a middle seat in Business Class? Economy would be nice too, but you think you’re to good for it

  17. JBM it’s in the link routesonline, from where he put together this post. The original post from routesonline was not just the US.

    Dubai – Toronto 5 weekly 777-300ER, replacing A380

  18. It’s going to be awhile before the DXB-MCO route returns I fear, which is a huge bummer if you just so happen to live in Orland and have very limited direct flights to ANYWHERE overseas. 🙁

  19. The airlines aside, the airports that spent thousands of $$ configuring gates for A380’s must be livid with how things are panning out.

    Jet bridges are not cheap in the first place, but add the complexity of an A380, OMG, and all that investment is basically down the drain.

    The A380 will leave a trail of disaster way beyond the airline operators

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