Emirates has launched its first non-stop service between Dubai and Auckland, one of the world’s longest scheduled flights, bringing 39 European destinations and another 38 in Africa and the Middle East within just one stop of New Zealand.
And to celebrate the milestone, the first service was operated with a double-decker A380 rather than the Boeing 777-200LR that will regularly fly the route.
“This is an important development for our customers, for Emirates, and for New Zealand.
“We anticipate high demand for the route, providing a further boost to inbound tourist traffic into New Zealand that now exceeds three million a year.
“We also expect the service to be popular with New Zealanders seeking faster connections to Europe and the Middle East,” said Gary Chapman, president, group services, Emirates Group.
Emirates’ new service will bring New Zealand much closer to destinations in Europe and the Middle East than at present, with an estimated flight time of just under 16 hours from Dubai to New Zealand and 17 hours, 15 minutes in the other direction, cutting journey times by almost three hours each way.
Tourists, in particular, will now have more options - travelling to Auckland with a stopover in Australia on one of the award-winning airline’s three daily A380 services, flying non-stop direct into Auckland on the Boeing 777-200LR, or flying to the South Island on the daily Boeing 777-300ER Christchurch service.
In command on the A380 flight deck was New Zealander Andrew Duncan Mcfarlane and the cabin crew included several New Zealanders.
Emirates employs nearly 400 New Zealanders, including 140 cabin crew and 95 pilots.
With the introduction of the non-stop service, Emirates will fly more than 2,000 seats a day in each direction on New Zealand services.