Emirates trims Sydney flights

31 Aug 2010 by BusinessTraveller

From the end of October, Sydney-bound passengers taking Emirates’ from Europe will lose one of their convenient connections over Dubai.

Besides impacting on travellers departing Emirates’ main destinations in Europe on lunchtime and early afternoon services, it will also affect passengers taking the carrier’s A380 service from Manchester (see Route of the Month in the September edition of Business Traveller) which is launched tomorrow (September 1)

Emirates is suspending one of its three daily flights linking Dubai with Sydney. It means that passengers departing Europe with an Emirates service between lunchtime and early afternoon and which would reach Dubai around midnight will no longer have an onward connection.

The flights being cancelled are EK414 which leaves Dubai at 0215 and EK415 which departs Sydney at 0600. Both operate non-stop with long range 286-seater B777-200s.

Granted, the early bird service out of Sydney will not be missed (who wants to check-in for very long flight at 0400?) but the 0215 from Dubai is popular with canny travellers. That is because they know this flight lands in Sydney at 2210 when the terminal is deserted and so there is less chance of a delay at customs and immigration. 

The carrier’s existing daily flights into Sydney, a one-stop B777-300ER service (via Bangkok) departing Dubai at 0905 and a non-stop A380 flight leaving at 1015 will continue unchanged. These flights are linked with Emirates’ overnight flights from Europe and these too will remain unchanged.

It is understood that Emirates will instead use the B777-200s to double the frequency of its non-stop Dubai-Los Angeles service from seven to 14 flights a week.

Emirates has a monopoly on this route and it is anxious to strengthen its position on this increasingly popular route  before rivals appear. Turkish Airlines has said it will launch a four times a week service out of Istanbul next March while Qatar Airways is believed to be interested in serving Los Angeles from Doha.

All in all, though, it’s not good news for Emirates’ passengers taking the kangaroo route to Sydney. Not only do they lose a flight option but fewer seats spell higher fares.

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Report by Alex McWhirter

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