A new opportunity to fly Emirates First Class!

Effective 9 April 2020, Emirates has announced that it will launch Dubai-Penang flights via Singapore on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which features a three-class configuration. This new fifth-freedom flight replaces the former fifth freedom flight Singapore-Brisbane. 

The Boeing 777-300ER features 8 private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat Business Class seats and 304 seats in Economy Class. Do take note that the business class is in 2-3-2 configuration, so not all seats offers direct aisle access, which has overtime, become the industry standard. The Boeing 777-300ER is also not equipped with the showers that Emirates is famous for, that’s normally found on the A380s.

Penang is the carrier’s second destination after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital. With this flight, This creates a new opportunity to check out the famed Middle Eastern carrier’s premium cabins services, albeit a short 1h30min flight. This route also offers premium class passengers to check out the Emirates Business Class lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 1. Emirates is also known for offering limousine services for business class passengers, and this should continue for this flight.

Emirates does not belong to any of the 3 alliances in the travel industry, but partners heavily with Australian carrier Qantas. As such, you can redeem this flight with Qantas miles, which you can easily transfer from your stash of DBS points. You could redeem this flight with Emirates Skywards miles from your American Express points but I generally do not consider that to be good value.

Conclusion

A flight that intrigues me, I wonder how Emirates will keep this economically viable especially with the high frequency of budget carriers between the 2 cities. Even if I had wanted to try its premium cabins, I think I would be better off redeeming the news-grabbing flight which features Emirates flying the shortest international flight for a A380 from Dubai to Muscat from its home base. I’ll probably get to see that shower in the sky too..


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