Several reports today suggest that Dubai-based Emirates will postpone the launch of premium economy.

Emirates’ version of premium economy was scheduled to launch this year.

Readers will not be surprised by this news which still awaits official confirmation.

Now is not the right time for any airline to launch a new onboard product and one which, in normal times, would be expected to drive its profitability.

There is much uncertainty with civil aviation at the present time.

Airlines face any number of restrictions as to when and where they can operate and carry passengers.

As far as any airline is concerned its main priority is to operate a flight from A to B and to provide travellers with the latest health and safety standards.

Concerning premium economy itself Emirates will be the first Gulf airline to offer it.

The Gulf’s airlines have been premium economy stragglers.

Consider that premium economy was launched back in the early 1990s by Taiwan’s Eva Air and Virgin Atlantic.

It took most other carriers quite a while to catch up. Today Emirates today can no longer afford to remain aloof.

What we do know is that Emirates will be offering a product which sets it apart from its rivals.

As for its location president Sir Tim Clark is reported to have said that on the A380s premium economy would be located either upstairs (on the current two-class A380s) or downstairs towards the front (for the current three-class A380s).

When Emirates does eventually launch premium economy it will have something to better compete with, not just its Gulf rivals, but also with major global carriers.

Business Traveller will update this report when more details are known.