Oct 11, 2017

Emirates cuts all but one A380 a day across Tasman

The Emirates Y class A380 cabin is about to become a rarer pleasure between Australia and New Zealand

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Emirates’ A380 provides the most generously proportioned economy cabin across the Tasman

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.ᶺ
These 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.


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11 thoughts on “Emirates cuts all but one A380 a day across Tasman

  1. Tom the first and best

    Extra Dubai-New Zealand direct flights being evaluated. Presumably that means at least one additional daily Auckland-Dubai flight and a Wellington-Dubai flight are being evaluated. The retention of the Dubai-Sydney-Christchurch flight indicates that they are unlikely to be considering direct Christchurch flights in the near future.

    1. Ken Borough

      Wellington-Dubai? WTF!

      1. Ben Sandilands

        Well I can’t think of any commercial jet that could do Wellington-Dubai because of its incredibly short runway so I guess there is a chance of a 777 or A380 doing that route from Christchurch.

        1. Tom the first and best

          Well you have caused me to look up the length of the Wellington runway and discover the fun they are having trying to extend it, potentially causing them to have to lengthen it (and 4 other airports do the same thing with their runways), just to not shorten it.

  2. George Glass

    Good grief.Emirates operating between Oz and NZ is a world leading example of A-grade capacity dumping.Only a naive price-taking simpleton nation like Australia would think its a good idea.Good riddance.

    1. Tom the first and best

      For New Zealand is represents the ability to have a wider availability of long range international flights, particularly with the Christchurch flight that is remaining. Latam Airlines is also allowed to take fifth freedom passengers Auckland-Sydney and maybe there is some acknowledgement that fifth freedom flight over the Tasman are useful for onward flights.

      1. ghostwhowalksnz

        The 5th freedom rights worked both ways. Once it was BOAC and Pan Am that used them and Air NZ to this day picks up passengers in LAX to fly to London, while the UK and US no longer fly the tasman. Over time a lot of other airlines used their trans tasman rights either from Asia south with say a stopover in Brisbane or from South America with a stop over in Auckland before heading to Sydney.

  3. Jaeger

    Pity. BNE – AKL on the A380 (upgraded from the B777 – phew!) was quite nice, though the pokey windows are a big disappointment. Flying into stormy Brisbane was fun; a few bumps but lots of lightning on the exterior cameras (in-flight entertainment.)

    1. Ben Sandilands

      Yes, I find the main cabin windows fine, provided you aren’t in the few unaligned window seats, but someone really messed up their design in the upper premium deck.

  4. anonflightattendant

    Perhaps the increase in Qantas metal is because of a condition of the alliance that requires the airlines to maintain the level of capacity they had on four over-lapping trans-Tasman routes before the alliance. With EK leaving the Tasman Qantas can’t achieve that with Jetconnect alone and having recently downsized that fleet by one aircraft. At least the A330 services will provide business travellers with incentive to stay rather than be exposed to Qantas’ grotty 737 ‘service’.

  5. Sue B

    Such a pity – that A380 to AKL was one of the few flights I’ve really enjoyed in Y over the last few years.

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