Having cancelled 70 A359’s a couple of years ago, saying they didn’t fit with Emirates changed priorities, the landscape has changed again. Emirates seems to have been shocked at its vulnerability to market trends in the Gulf after the recent rapid downturn. Before that all it knew was non-stop growth.
In many ways it shows you that they’re not heavily subsidised as a business at all, they made cuts and operated as any other business or airline would and they’ve learnt a bit of caution goes a long way.
It seems having the wrong aircraft types to run some routes is preferable – and it can be managed through scheduling – to embarking on a new aircraft acquisition programme, with the vast costs of lease, equipment purchase, and new staff and pilots that would require.
Emirates has had to swallow some humble pie.