Emirates now has five daily A380s to New Zealand from its Dubai hub. The flights which are a combination of non-stop services from Dubai to New Zealand as well as three daily A380 services between Dubai and Auckland via Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) mean that UK travellers can fly the A380 from the UK via Dubai and down to New Zealand.
Emirates says that bookings for travel over the next six months between the UK and Christchurch have seen an annual increase of 10 percent. To Auckland, bookings from the UK have seen an annual increase of
- Gatwick + 113%
- Heathrow + 109%
- Manchester + 65%
- Birmingham + 59%
- Newcastle + 35%
- Glasgow + 34%
Onwards from Dubai the options are a direct flight to Auckland (EK448), or to Christchurch via Sydney.
Emirates will be the first airline to offer regular scheduled A380 services to and from Christchurch with the upgrade of the current daily Christchurch service, along with the removal of the en-route stop in Bangkok.
The two new A380 services flew to New Zealand overnight, with the Christchurch flight flown by Captain Shane Russell, formerly of Christchurch, taxied through a ceremonial water-cannon salute before parking directly in view of trade and media guests and VIPs at a special Emirates welcome function in the international terminal.
Outbound EK412 departs Dubai at 10:15 hours, allowing connections with southbound services from European destinations such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Manchester. EK412 stops in Sydney before arriving in Christchurch at 13:50 hours the next day (local time). The return flight, EK413, departs Christchurch at 18:45 hours, touching down in Dubai at 05:15 hours the next day after its stop in Sydney, reducing the journey time to Dubai and Europe by about two hours in each direction.
At the same time, the Dubai service to Auckland via Sydney, EK418, now stops at both Bangkok, as well as Sydney. Flight EK418 departs Dubai at 08:55 hours and arrives in Auckland at 15:55 hours the following day (local time). The return service, via Sydney and Bangkok, operating as flight EK419, departs Auckland at 16:30 hours and arrives in Dubai the following morning at 06:45 hours.