Emirates today launched its new Dubai-Melbourne-Christchurch flights, celebrating the double inauguration of its non-stop service to Melbourne, and its first flight to Christchurch in New Zealand.Emirates will fly its ultra long-haul Airbus A340-500 aircraft on the route, initially operating three times a week then doubling to six times a week on 16 August.
The Dubai-Melbourne non-stop flights add to Emirates’ current daily service to Melbourne via Singapore, and will boost Emirates’ flights to Australia’s second largest city (pop. ca. 3 million) from seven to 13 a week by mid August.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide said: “Emirates is pleased to offer our customers a non-stop travel option between Dubai and Melbourne. Australia is an important market for Emirates, and we believe our new services will help to grow tourist and business traffic between the Middle East and Australia.”
Mr Al Ghaith also noted that the new service will provide travellers with a convenient one-stop connection between Australia and destinations in Europe, Africa and US, via the airline’s Dubai hub.
Emirates’ Dubai-Melbourne service will continue onward to Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, and the latest destination to join the airline’s rapidly expanding route network.
Christchurch will be the 77th city to be served by Emirates, and the airline’s second destination in New Zealand after Auckland. Currently operating three-a-day flights into Auckland from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Emirates’ new Christchurch service will boost the airline’s current trans-Tasman flights to 27 per week by 16 August.
Mr Al Ghaith said: “Christchurch is the gateway to New Zealand’s scenic South Island. New Zealand is gaining popularity amongst European and Middle Eastern leisure travellers, and we anticipate our timely new service will cater to the growing demand.”
“Trans-Tasman traffic is also growing at a robust pace and Emirates’ new Christchurch service, operating with our leading-edge A340-500 aircraft, provides both Australian and New Zealand passengers with yet another quality travel option,” he added.
The A340-500 carries 12 First Class, 42 Business and 204 Economy passengers, and 14 tonnes of cargo. Emirates has taken delivery of five A340-500s, with five more on order.
Emirates was the launch carrier for the Airbus A340-500, the world’s longest-range commercial aircraft, when it started operating last December on the Dubai-Sydney non-stop route. Emirates’ USD$1.8 billion investment in its fleet of A340-500’s ensures that its long-haul passengers travel in maximum comfort. The aircraft boast several innovations including: the world’s first enclosed suites in First Class; mood lighting which helps to ease jetlag; and an inflight entertainment system with over 500 channels - three times as many as on rival airlines.
Emirates’ Dubai-Melbourne-Christchurch service, flight EK406 departs Dubai at 1010am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving in Melbourne at 0530am the next day. EK406 then continues onward to Christchurch, departing on the same day from Melbourne at 0715am and landing in Christchurch at 1230pm. From 16 August, EK406 will operate Mondays through Saturdays.
Return flight EK407 will take off from Christchurch on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 1805pm, landing in Melbourne at 1945pm. From Melbourne, the flight will depart for Dubai at 2130pm, arriving in 0540am the next day. Starting 17 August, EK407 will operate Tuesdays through Sundays. All flight times indicated above are local.
Emirates started flights to Australia in 1996 with the inauguration of services to Melbourne via Singapore. Daily flights to Sydney, Perth and Brisbane were progressively introduced since 2000.