Emirates Schedules Another A380 To Australia & New Zealand

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Emirates has made some convoluted changes to its schedule but, once you work through exactly what the airline has done, it’s Christchurch that comes out as the big winner. The changes come into effect from 30/31 October 2016 and will see Emirates yet again increase its A380 service to New Zealand and add another A380 to Sydney.

Emirates Adding A380 Service To Sydney & Christchurch

From 30 October 2016 all three Emirates flights flying into Sydney will be operated by A380 aircraft and this will have the knock-on effect of seeing Emirates upgrade the Sydney – Christchurch route to an A380 as well.

The convoluted way Emirates is achieving this:

  • The Emirates flights between Bangkok and Sydney will be upgraded from a 777-300ER to an A380 aircraft.
  • The Emirates flights between Sydney and Auckland will be upgraded from a 777-300ER to an A380 aircraft and the departure times will be changing. Flights will depart Sydney 1.5 hours earlier than before and will depart Auckland almost 2 hours later.
  • There is no change to the A380 aircraft Emirates flys between Sydney and Auckland but the flight times do change. The Sydney departure time is now 2 hours later while the Auckland departure time will be 2 hours earlier.


Good News For Sydney & Christchurch

As I’m fond of reminding readers, Emirates has done such a good job of marketing itself to the world that the overall impression people have of the airline is that it offers an all-around top-level premium cabin product….but that’s simply not true.

The Emirates 777-300ER Business Class product is decidedly sub-par and way behind what the airline offers on its A380 aircraft. With angle-flat seats, no all-aisle access and 3 seats across the middle of the cabin the 777’s Business Class cabin is a dinosaur in the modern age.

emirates-777-300-business-class-seat-mapEmirates 777-300ER Business Class seat map – From ExpertFlyer

So, now that the Emirates 777-300ER will be taken off the Sydney and Christchurch routes, premium cabin travelers will have the best that Emirates has to offer:

Emirates-A380-First-ClassEmirates A380 First Class – not really my thing….but a lot of people seem to like it

Emirates-A380-Business-classEmirates A380 Business Class – one of the best overall Business Class products out there

More Premium Cabin Space Too

Not only will Sydney and Christchurch see vastly improved premium cabins but they’ll see a lot more seats available too.

The A380 has 8 more First Class seats (14) and 34 more Business Class seats (76) than the Boeing 777-300ER it’s replacing and, while that many not be a massive increase for Sydney which already has 2 A380 Emirates flights, this is a massive increase in premium cabin capacity for the Christchurch Route and should make awards a lot easier to come by.


emirates-a380-premium-cabin-seat-mapThe whole top deck of the Emirates A380 is set aside for First & Business Class passengers – courtesy of SeatGuru (click to enlarge in new window)

Good News For Economy Class Flyers

The good news keeps on coming with this aircraft swap as, not only is the Boeing a poor aircraft for premium cabin passengers, but it’s pretty terrible for Economy Class passengers too.

While both aircraft offer Economy Class passengers 32″ of seat width (very respectable nowadays) the Boeing only offers a paltry 17″ of seat pitch (leg room) in the Economy Class cabin while the A380 offers a minimum of 18″ (a few seats have 18.5″)….and that extra inch can make a lot of difference.

Bottom Line

This really is all-around great news for flyers heading to Sydney and /or Christchurch but, if you already have reservations on any of these flights, make sure you check them very carefully as seat maps have changed and timings have changed so things will not be as they were when you booked your flights.

So, the Emirates A380 expansion project (my words, not the airline’s) carries on and shows no signs of slowing down. London, Los Angeles, New York, Manchester, Munich, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Sydney, Auckland and Christchurch are just a few of Emirate’s destinations that have (or soon will have) nothing but A380 service…I wonder what city will be next?