Despite the doomsayers, Emirates has lifted its seats on sale on Australian routes by 7.3 percent from next March by adding to the frequency with which it flies the Airbus A380 to its global hub at Dubai.
That’s not just more seats, but ones that are wide enough in economy class to give normal sized people the amenity that many airlines seem determined to trash with tight fit seating.
Which is a criticism that can also be made of the Gulf carrier’s own 777 flights, although they are playing a much reduced role in Australia-Dubai flights.
Emirates addresses the move by Qantas to end its A380 flights to London via Dubai head on its announcement.
Emirates is set to introduce a fourth daily service from Dubai to Sydney from 25 March 2018, complementing its existing three daily A380 services and improving connections globally.
The new service will be operated by Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft and will increase passenger capacity on the route by 6,846 seats a week, inbound and outbound between Sydney and Emirates’ hub in Dubai, and represents a 7.3% increase in capacity for Emirates’ Australian services.
The move will provide passengers travelling from Europe and North Africa greater connectivity to Australia. It also builds on Emirates’ partnership with Qantas, meeting continued demand for services to Dubai and complementing Qantas’ re-routing of its current Sydney to London service via Singapore (instead of Dubai).
Emirates’ new service will offer passengers an afternoon departure from Sydney and a convenient arrival in main European cities the following morning. It also introduces a new option for passengers to depart London and main European cities in the morning with an afternoon arrival in Sydney the next day with a short connection in Dubai.
Emirates will also upgauge its third daily flight between Dubai and Melbourne from a B777-300ER to an A380 from 25 March 2018. This change will ensure all three of Emirates’ daily flights to Melbourne will be serviced by A380 aircraft.
Emirates currently operates 77 weekly flights from Dubai to Australia, with flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. A previously announced third daily service to Brisbane and fourth daily service to Sydney will bring this to 91 weekly flights.
Qantas makes low risk money from selling code-shared seats on Emirates flights through its commercial relationship with the UAE carrier. However early next year it will begin to offer a daily A380 flight to London from Sydney using Singapore as the hub for connections from other cities, including a new daily Qantas A380 to Singapore from Melbourne.
At the same time, Qantas will also start a Melbourne-Perth-London service using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, bypassing Dubai. The non-stop sector from Perth to London will have to readily navigate the often less than optimal air traffic control routings that all airlines encounter in Middle East and European skies.
Qantas has 12 A380s. Emirates is about to take delivery of its 1ooth A380. At least 18 Emirates A380s will be deployed serving Dubai non-stops from Australian gateways.