For many years Emirates has been flying daily between Sydney and Auckland.
These so-called ‘tag’ flights were a continuation of Emirates daily A380 service which originates in Dubai.
But now the carrier has announced it will be suspending the route and handing it over to its JV partner Qantas with effect from July 13, according to reports by australianaviation.com.
Emirates’ A380 was a favourite amongst trans-Tasman travellers because they could enjoy a level of comfort and service (especially in first and business class) which they could not experience on either Qantas or Air New Zealand.
Now Antipodeans and those passengers travelling from Europe and the Gulf will have to make do with the smaller planes and narrower seats of Qantas.
The latter will be using both A330-200s and B737-800s in order to provide the additional capacity to cope with demand.
Current weekday schedules displayed on emirates.com have Qantas operating five flights on Emirates’ behalf. Additional flights may be scheduled at weekends.
In a statement issued in Australia on Wednesday May 31, Emirates divisional VP for Australia, Barry Brown, said:
“The Tasman is a dynamic market and we saw the need to optimise capacity on this route in line with changes in demand.”
It appears that Emirates’ existing non-stop Dubai-Auckland A380 service will remain unchanged. But that service, which started last year, must have reduced demand for travellers willing to take the one-stop services.
So those passengers flying Dubai-Auckland via Sydney will now have the inconvenience of having to change planes during the Sydney stopover.