The Emirates A380s that once crisscrossed the Tasman daily between the major eastern Australian cities and New Zealand will be reduced to one daily return between Sydney and Christchurch from next March in order to provide customers flying the Qantas-Emirates partnership more choices, on Qantas jets.
Consumers will lose the experience of sampling the rather grand proportions of the biggest Airbus on the relatively short flight between Australia and New Zealand apart from that South Island flight but gain in some cases a not inconsiderable upgrade from a Qantas branded 737-800 to one of its A330s.
And there is a question mark in today’s joint Qantas-Emirates statement over the future of the last of the Emirates A380s between cities on either side of ‘the ditch’, or ‘dutch’, depending on which side of it taught you English.
For New Zealander travellers who fly Emirates for its network to and through Dubai for connections including dozens of cities in central Asia, Africa, and eastern and western Europe, the focus on faster services that bypass Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane is set to continue and likely grow.
In a joint statement Qantas and Emirates say:
From March 2018, Emirates will stop flying from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland and instead focus on its non-stop Auckland-Dubai service. Emirates will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney, and the airline is also evaluating potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai.At the same time, to provide greater choice across the Tasman, Qantas will increase the frequency of its services between the two countries, adding seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return services per week between Brisbane and Auckland. Some of these services will be up-gauged from a 737 to a wide-body A330.Qantas’ new trans-Tasman services will carry Emirates code and will connect seamlessly to Qantas’ London services via Perth or Singapore and Emirates’ services between Australia and Europe via Dubai.Customers flying between Australia and New Zealand, particularly business travellers, will benefit from the improved schedule choice.The changes also enable Emirates to reschedule its Australia flights to create a better spread of departure times throughout the day, offering customers more choice when connecting and arriving in to the 38 European and 28 Middle East and North African destinations served by the airline’s popular A380 and 777 aircraft.ᶺThese latest changes are included in the airlines’ application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and New Zealand Minister of Transport for the extension of authorisation for the airlines’ joint business for another five years.The airlines’ joint submission also includes, as previously announced, Qantas’ re-routing of its Sydney-London service via Singapore rather than Dubai and Emirates’ new, fourth daily A380 Sydney-Dubai service.