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We’re definitely into the season of airline route changes and announcements as the updates are coming thick and fast. We’ve seen United add a new service to Australia, Cathay Pacific add three new routes to Europe and Delta schedule its new service to Shanghai in little over a week and now there’s more news.
Emirates has decided that 2 daily flights between Dubai and Sydney simply isn’t enough for the European summer season (which is actually Australia’s Winter) and Cathay Pacific has announced that it’s cutting a route to Europe almost two years to the day from when the route was launched.
Emirates Adds Another Flight To Sydney
From 25 March 2018 Emirates will operate a 3rd daily non-stop flight between Dubai and Sydney and, unsurprisingly, the airline will be operating the flight with one of its Airbus A380 aircraft.
The planned non-stop schedule is as follows:
EK414 DXB 02:15 – 22:05 SYD (Daily A380 service)
EK412 DXB 10:15 – 06:05+1 day SYD (Daily A380 service)
EK416 DXB 20:40 – 16:30+1 day SYD (Daily A380 service) **new service**
EK415 SYD 06:00 – 14:10 DXB (Daily A380 service)
EK417 SYD 16:15 – 00:25+1 day DXB (Daily A380 service) **new service**
EK413 SYD 21:10 – 05:40+1 day DXB (Daily A380 service)
The A380 operating the new daily flight will offer the following seat options:
- 14 First Class suites
- 76 Business Class seats
- 399 Economy Class seats
That makes this the less dense of the two Emirates A380 variants currently serving Sydney.
As things stand round trip Business Class awards are available from 145,000 miles + AED 3,440….
…while First Class awards appear a lot harder to find (not exactly surprising) and are pricing up at 217,500 miles + AED 3,460 for roundtrip travel:
[HT: Routes Online]
Cathay Pacific “Suspends” Its Route To Düsseldorf
Cathay Pacific may have recently announced three new routes between Hong Kong and Europe but the airline is clearly not averse to canceling a route here and there either.
Cathay launched its Hong Kong to Düsseldorf route back in September 2015 with one of its new Airbus A350 aircraft and now, almost a year to the day from when the route was officially launched, the airline has said that the route will be “suspended” as of 25 March 2018.
I actually flew in the Cathay Pacific A350 on this route back in 2016 – it was ok but certainly noting special.
Alex McWhirter over at Business Traveller speculates that the route suspension is down to a number of different factors including:
- Singapore Airlines’ now operates its own A350 in and out of Düsseldorf
- Emirates offering its own service to Asia from Düsseldorf
- The proximity of Amsterdam to Düsseldorf to Amsterdam where departure tax is zero and Cathay operates flights.
Cathay Pacific A350 on the Hong Kong – Düsseldorf route
There are two reasons I’m not convinced that Emirates’ presence has affected Cathay’s success on this route to any great material effect:
- Prices on the two airlines are not dissimilar
- Routing to Asia via Dubai (rather than Hong Kong) can, on a number of routes, break a journey up into two flights where you’re connecting in the middle of the night and where neither flight is really long enough to get a good rest.
Given those two points why would a traveler choose Emirates over Cathay.
Having said that, the Singapore Airlines presence and the Amsterdam effect are definitely reasons I believe have played into Cathay Pacific’s decision and, as someone mentioned in the Business Traveller comments section, airberlin’s collapse in Düsseldorf probably hasn’t helped matters either (airberlin is a fellow oneworld partner).
Cathay Pacific is already getting in touch with passengers booked on this route past the suspension date too offer them alternatives – if you’re one such passenger and haven’t heard from the airline I would give them a call.