Emirates, Trans-Tasman Flights
Date Posted: 27/03/2018
- Emirates ceases operation of flights from Australia to Auckland, from 25th March 2018.
- Cancelled: Melbourne to Auckland (EK406) / Auckland to Melbourne (EK407).
- Cancelled: Brisbane to Auckland (EK434) / Auckland to Brisbane (EK435).
- Reduced demand since operating direct flights to Dubai in late 2016.
- Still Operating: Sydney to Christchurch (EK412) / Christchurch – Sydney (EK413)
- Qantas adds extra capacity, in accordance with the Emirates/Qantas Partnership.
There has been numerous changes with Emirates schedules as they adjust their timetables to reflect the changes of the non-stop Qantas flights to Europe, leaving up to 472 passengers not having to transit through Dubai Airport on route to London.
Thankfully, for us passengers the Qantas and Emirates partnership will still no remain until 2023, but what does the Emirates and Qantas partnership mean for travellers.
Emirates has come to the conclusion that they will no longer be operating the daily Melbourne to Auckland (EK406) and Auckland to Melbourne (EK407) services from the 25th of March 2018. These flights are operated using the A380-800 aircraft. It’s not just Melbourne that’s had some of its serviced axed, Brisbane has also suffered from the amended timetable changes. With the daily service Brisbane to Auckland (EK434) and Auckland to Brisbane (EK435) have also been removed.
The Emirates A380 offered a far superior option in terms of cabin luxury when choosing to fly from Australia to New Zealand. It was miles ahead to any other carriers offering on that route. The Emirates A380 offered passengers 14 First Class Suites, 76 Business Class Cabins and 399 Economy seats, carrying a maximum number of 489 passengers on a full flight.
Both of these flights operate the daily Dubai service, once they have stopped over in Australia on the way. The CEO of Emirates, Tim Clark said that the demand for the Australia to Auckland flights has reduced since Emirates began a non-stop flight from Auckland to Dubai in late 2016 and that there was no need to fly such a huge aircraft across to New Zealand.
“The A380 is just too big for the market.” – Tim Clark, Emirates CEO
So, what does this mean for Australian travellers wanting to fly to Auckland?
Qantas has added nine return daily flights to Auckland from Australia, an additional seven flights between Melbourne and Auckland and the addition of two flights flying Brisbane to Auckland. Qantas has added these extra flight s to boost the capacity of the route and to further make connections with QF9, in hope to capture the London market from rival Air New Zealand.
The good new for us travellers is that a few of the Qantas operated flights have changed from the smaller Boeing 737-800’s to the twin aisled A330 series aircraft. Which when travelling in Business there is a huge amount of difference in cabins.
What if you still want to fly on an A380 across to New Zealand, are there any flights?
Yes, Emirates will continue to operate the daily Sydney to Christchurch (EK412) and the Christchurch to Sydney (EK413) flights. This is the only flight that Emirates operate on the trans-tasman route.
In my own opinion, it is really disappointing to see these A380 routes being axed due to poor demand. As a frequent flyer, the biggest benefit of the Emirates A380’s on the trans tasman routes is getting a bulk number of Status Credits with in an instant and treating yourself to luxury at the same time in the luxurious First Class Cabin. Thankfully there is still the daily Christchurch flights which ill be sure to booking some flights on. With less competition in Christchurch i guess it puts more demand on the route, whereas with Auckland there are many carriers that you can choose from and more flights in operation to mainland Australia.
Recently flying to New Zealand on one of the last A380 flights with Emirates, the load factor was great for Economy, but it’s more so the luxury options such as Business and First class that there is no demand. I guess for a three hour flight, passengers don’t need the luxury of First and Business and are more than happy to travel in Economy.
I guess for the Gulf carrier, Emirates. It would have to be the right decision going forward for the company. With more and more advanced aircraft being developed, there’s no need for these stopovers on international flights, when a smaller, more economical aircraft can fly the route at a cheaper cost.