Emirates has introduced its flagship A380 double-decker aircraft on two New Zealand routes.
The airline’s step-up in capacity on both its Christchurch service and its non-stop Dubai-Auckland flight means that Emirates now has an all-A380 offering across its five daily New Zealand services.
Flight EK448 set off from Dubai on its 16-hour journey to Auckland, signalling the start of daily scheduled A380 services on the non-stop route previously operated by Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, while an Emirates A380 took off en-route to Christchurch as the airline upgraded the route to New Zealand’s main South Island gateway from a Boeing 777-300ER operation.
As well as the non-stop route, Emirates currently also operates three other daily A380 services between Dubai and Auckland via Australia (Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane).
Emirates will be the first airline to offer regular scheduled A380 services to and from Christchurch with the upgrade of the current daily Christchurch service, along with the removal of the en-route stop in Bangkok which will enable passengers to travel all the way between Dubai and Christchurch, with just one stop in Sydney.
Outbound EK412 departs Dubai at 10:15, seamlessly connecting with southbound services from European destinations such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Manchester and many more of Emirates’ 38 Europe services.
EK412 stops only in Sydney before arriving in Christchurch at 13:50 hours the next day.
The return flight, EK413, departs Christchurch at 18:45, touching down in Dubai at 05:15 the next day after its stop in Sydney, reducing the journey time to Dubai and Europe by about two hours in each direction.
At the same time, the Dubai service to Auckland via Sydney, features the opportunity for travellers to explore south-east Asia or Australia en route as this service, EK418, now operates via the popular hub that is Bangkok, as well as Sydney.
Flight EK418 departs Dubai at 08:55 hours and arrives in Auckland at 15:55 hours the following day.
The return service, via Sydney and Bangkok, operating as flight EK419, departs Auckland at 16:30 hours and arrives in Dubai the following morning at 06:45.
Emirates is the only airline offering year-round scheduled A380 services to and from New Zealand.