Emirates can return to NZ in its bar-equipped A380. Photo / Provided
Emirates will restore non-stop flights between Auckland and Dubai and bring the A380 superjumbo back to the country on a transtasman flight between Christchurch and Sydney later this year.
Although the airline did not confirm the move, the route did appear on its booking site.
The non-stop and return of the A380 will be welcomed by travelers and bring more competition throughout Tasman. Airline flights between Auckland and Dubai have been flying via Kuala Lumpur since non-stop flights were suspended.
“ Like other commercial airlines, Emirates adjusts capacity according to demand. Any confirmed plans for deploying the A380 on our routes will be announced in a timely manner, “said an airline spokesman.
Services to Auckland and Christchurch fell from 21 a week before the pandemic to nine a week last year, with only four of them being passenger flights and the rest only freight. Since then, the airline has rebuilt its timetable even though it is well below pre-Covid capacity and the airline’s website suggests it will continue to use the Boeing 777 on its Auckland route instead of the A380.
The changes took effect in early November in line with traditional scheduling changes to match the shift to the Northern Hemisphere winter.
Earlier this week the airline said it would increase service to New Zealand to six times a week from this weekend.
Emirates flies from Dubai four times a week. However from 28 March, flights will depart from Auckland to Dubai every day except Sunday and from Dubai to Auckland every day except Saturday.
The Dubai-based airline – the world’s largest long-haul carrier before Covid – temporarily suspended its entire fleet last April, but has restored its network with the aim of having all of its planes be able to route by the end of the year.
Meanwhile capacity continues to churn for all airlines.
OAG analysts say capacity continues to grow in some markets without really any logical explanation, the confidence of chief executives across US airlines continues to grow, there are rumors of a transatlantic corridor for the northern summer, warnings surrounding an extended travel ban in Europe, Japan confirms none international visitors to the Summer Olympics and total confusion surrounding the vaccine launches in Europe. It’s been a quiet week!
Scheduled airline capacity rose 1.4 percent to 59.8 million seats, but OAG said seats could be cut quickly.
In early March, scheduled airlines planned about 309 million seats for April; this week is 284 million; about 9 percent of capacity was cut less than eight weeks prior to the scheduled operation date.