European travellers heading for Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne will benefit from Emirates’ revised flight schedule next month.
Effective February 1, Emirates will reroute one its three daily Dubai-Melbourne flights via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It means that Kuala Lumpur, a major SE Asian city underserved from Europe, gains an additional flight.
It also means that passengers from Europe have another stopover option should they choose Emirates to fly Down Under.
SE Asian travellers also benefit. Emirates has gained traffic rights between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne so its new service will be a worthy competitor for Malaysia Airlines and budget carrier Air Asia X, the two carriers currently plying the route.
The only loser in this development is Melbourne. Emirates currently flies Dubai-Melbourne three times a day with two services operating non-stop. The three daily flights remain but from next month only one of these will be non-stop. However Qatar Airways recently started flights to Melbourne from Doha.
A big selling point is that Emirates will roster its long-range A340-500 for the route. This plane is equipped with suites in first class (configured 1-2-1) and reclining (although not fully flat seats) in business class (configured 2-2-2). Economy passengers score as well because the seating configuration on the A340-500 is eight across (2-4-2) compared with a denser 10-across (3-4-3) layout found on the B777s which Emirates currently uses to Kuala Lumpur.
Flight schedules are:
Depart Dubai 0240
Arrive Kuala Lumpur 1330
Depart Kuala Lumpur 1445
Arrive Melbourne 0120 (following day)
Depart Melbourne 0310
Arrive Kuala Lumpur 0810
Depart Kuala Lumpur 0945
Arrive Dubai 1245
As is standard practise, Emirates will provide connections at Dubai to and from major European hubs such as London, Paris CDG and Frankfurt. For example, passengers departing London would take EK002 (the A380 service) from Heathrow at 1345 or EK009 from Gatwick at 1340. In the return direction you would connect in Dubai with EK003 for Heathrow at 1430 or EK009 for Gatwick at 1435.
For more information visit emirates.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter