Emirates is making it easier and cheaper for premium fare passengers to reach Perth in Western Australia. The Dubai-based carrier already flies once a day between its home and Perth. But from March 2 it will operate an additional four flights a week, rising to daily from September 2.
The additional flights are being operated by an Airbus A340-300 with 12 first, 42 business and 213 economy class seats. Flight EK424 will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday departing Dubai at 09.25 and arriving into Perth at 00.10 the next day. The return service EK425 departs Perth every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 06.30 to reach Dubai at 13.45. From September 2, the A340-300 will be replaced by a B777 with similar capacity in first and business class.
The new services have good connections for UK passengers. Emirates’ overnight flights to Dubai from Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester link with EK424. Once flight EK425 lands in Dubai there are onward transfer possibilities to Birmingham, Gatwick and Heathrow.
Overall flight times with Emirates via Dubai are only a little longer than if you were to take the main alternatives: SIA, British Airways or Qantas via Singapore. But Emirates more than compensates with keener pricing.
For travel in March, agent Airline Network is charging £2,378 for a return business class ticket with Emirates compared with prices of £3,746 with SIA and £3,852 with BA and Qantas. When it comes to first class, Airline Network quotes £3,778 with Emirates as against £6,398 with BA/Qantas (the agent has no first class deals with SIA).
The extra flights to Perth strengthen Emirates’ grip on the kangaroo route. The carrier currently operates 42 flights a week between Dubai and the Australian gateways of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
In other news, Emirates is wooing premium fare passengers departing Sydney and Perth with upgraded airport lounges. It has just splashed out A$4.5 million (£1.89 million) on new first and business class lounges at both airports. Both are modelled on the existing facilities at Dubai. Of the two, the Sydney lounge is more spacious being 880 square metres in size with room for 160 guests. The Perth facility is 582 square metres with space for 106 passengers. Both provide a business centre with individual workstations along with a dining room.
For more information go to www.emirates.com.