Emirates, Dubai based airline not part of any alliance, appears to discontinue first-class award access from partner programs effective April 1, 2021.
Alaska Airlines posted a notice on its website overnight that Emirates is discontinuing first-class award access, and Mileage Plan members wishing to redeem for Emirates first class should do so by March 31.
You can access Emirates here.
Here’s a notice that Alaska published:
Book your First Class award travel with Emirates by March 31, 2021. Beginning April 1, 2021, Emirates will no longer allow partner access to First Class award bookings. Mileage Plan members can continue to redeem on the Emirates’ award-winning Economy Class and Business Class. Business Class redemptions include complimentary lounge access and regionally inspired gourmet dishes.
Several airlines restrict partner access to their first-class award inventory, such as Swiss and Singapore Airlines, so what Emirates is doing here is nothing new.
You also have to remember that all airlines are going through restructuring right now, and it is unclear whether the first-class survives. However, Emirates would probably be one of the last airlines to discontinue it.