Emirates will reorganise its flights to Australia and New Zealand
early next year in a bid to strengthen its position on the busy kangaroo
Right now more passengers flying between Europe and
Australasia take indirect rather than direct
flights. SIA via Singapore,
Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong and Emirates via Dubai are popular choices because they serve
many more destinations than are covered by the direct flight carriers. (See note
But from next February Emirates will step up the
pressure on its Asian rivals. It will offer passengers more choice, faster
flights and the availability of new onboard premium products on most flights
with Down Under.
The improvements, which take effect on February 1, see
the addition of two new non-stop flights between Dubai, Brisbane and
Melbourne along with faster services connecting
Dubai with Auckland. It also sees the A380 superjumbo
(provided there are no delivery delays from Airbus) being introduced on
Emirates’ busiest flights EK412 and EK413 which link Dubai with Sydney and
Auckland. (See online news July 30 for Business Traveller’s review of the business class offering onboard Emirates’ A380 delivery flight.)
Right now Emirates operates three flights a day between
Dubai and Auckland. Two of these flights are operated by
B777-300ERs which, depending on the actual aircraft, may or may not be fitted
with the latest premium seating. These planes make two stops en route. Only
the third flight, operated by an A340-500, is a one-stopper and is fitted with
the new seats.
But from February 1, all three Dubai-Auckland services
will be one stop, and the B777s will be phased out in favour of services operated
by the A380 (via Sydney) and the A340-500 (via
Melbourne and via Brisbane).
It means that Dubai-Auckland will take three hours less, with the existing time of 21 hours, 25 mins being cut to 18 hrs 30
That’s not all. Planes rostered for these flights will
have better seating in all three classes. First class passengers are
accommodated in “suites” while business class passengers can stretch out in flat
Economy passengers aren’t neglected either. Emirates’ B777s
feature dense 10-across (3-4-3) seating whereas the A340’s seating is disposed
eight across (2-4-2). The A380 also has 10-across seating (3-4-3) but because
it has a broader cabin (than the B777) passengers enjoy more sideways space and
Flights departing Dubai
are timed to connect with passengers arriving off overnight flights from
European ports like London Heathrow and Gatwick, Manchester, Paris CDG, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich. The return services link at Dubai with early morning departures to Europe.
Emirates’ existing flights to Perth, Melbourne and
continue as before.
Details of the new schedules:
- New daily Dubai-Melbourne flight (continuing to
Operated by A340-500.
EK406 departs Dubai 1010,
arrives Melbourne 0635 the next day.
EK407 departs Melbourne
2235, arrives Dubai 0540 the next day.
- New daily Dubai-Brisbane flight (continuing to
Operated by A340-500.
EK434 departs Dubai 1020,
0635 the next day.
EK435 departs Brisbane 2030, arrives Dubai 0530 the next
- New one-stop Auckland timings. Note that all three flights
operate closely to one another.
EK412 Dubai-Auckland departs 1000 (via Sydney) arrives Auckland 1330 the next day.
EK406 Dubai-Auckland departs 1010 (via Melbourne) arrives Auckland 1340 the next day.
EK434 Dubai-Auckland departs 1020 (via Brisbane) arrives Auckland 1415 the next day.
EK435 Auckland-Dubai departs 1815 (via Brisbane) arrives Dubai 0530 the next day.
EK413 Auckland-Dubai departs 1845 (via Sydney) arrives 0530 the
EK407 Auckland-Dubai departs 1850 (via Melbourne) arrives 0540
the next day.
(Note: Of the direct European carriers only British
Airways and Virgin Atlantic serve Australia and then it’s only Sydney. No European
carrier serves New
Zealand. Australia’s Qantas serves Frankfurt and London direct from Sydney
or Melbourne. Air New
Zealand’s sole route from Europe is London to Auckland)
For more details go to emirates.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter