Sunset for Emirates’ A340-500s in Oz: B777s, with lie-flat biz beds, to replace A340-500s by next year
Last week was a good week for economy class travelers with Air New Zealand’s announcement of lie-flat seats in economy seats.
Economy passengers haven’t fared so well this week. Emirates will pull all A340-500 aircraft off Australian and Tasman routes by 1 January 2011. The A340-500s currently fly to Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane, with the Brisbane and Melbourne services continuing to Auckland.
This will leave just the A380 and B777 serving the region for Emirates. Economy passengers may enjoy the single A380 flight to Sydney with continuing service to Auckland, but aren’t likely to enjoy the B777s: they feature 3-4-3 seating.
Economy passengers, however, aren’t behind the change. It’s the premium cabins driving the change. As Emirates Sales Manager for Australia Stephen Holl told me:
The A340-500′s are being re-deployed to other routes, and we are ensuring the aircraft product ex Aust. (and all long haul routes) will be equipped with lie flat beds in business class & full flat beds first class.
The A340-500s do not feature lie-flat seats whereas the B777 (and A380) do. Sorry, economy passengers. But maybe you can look forward to Emirates bringing the A380 to more Australian cities.