Emirates will upgrade one of the 777 services between Sydney and Dubai to a second daily A380 from 1 June.
The irony of this for those urging Qantas to acquire 777s might be apparent. Its big brother partner Emirates is busy replacing 777s with A380s all around its global network, while Qantas resists the big twin engined Boeing that the UAE carrier has used to generate its phenomenal success in growing markets to A380 size.
The new A380 service will arrive at 9.30 pm, not long before or after the existing daily Emirates A380 departs from Sydney for Dubai, depending on the season, and will then leave for Dubai at 6 am, before the current A380 arrives from Dubai before making a daily rotation to Auckland.
Added to the daily Qantas rotation of one its A380s between Sydney an London via Dubai from 1 April, the UAE hub will have three daily A380 services each way from Sydney.
It is inevitable that all Emirates services to Sydney will be flown by A380s in the nearer term, and that a stretched version of the giant Airbus will join its fleet as soon as it is available, which may be before 2020.
Similarly most Emirates services from other Australian airports are expected to rely more on A380s, since the traffic agreements between Australia and the UAE are denominated in numbers of flights, not numbers of seats, and the Australia international market is growing at close to 6% a year on the carrier’s major long haul routes.
At slot challenged airports like Sydney, and Dubai, as well as London, finite slots mean larger aircraft is the only way to service demand.