Gulf carrier Emirates will launch a fourth daily A380 service to Sydney from March 2018 as part of wider moves to significantly beef up its presence Downunder.
The new service will add 6,845 inbound and outbound seats a week, boosting capacity in Australia by 7.3 per cent in a move the airline says will improve connectivity to 39 European destinations.
Customers will also be able to enjoy seamless A380-to-A380 connections to 48 destinations in its network. This gives economy passengers, in particular, more access to the popular and more comfortable superjumbo.
Emirates is about to take its 100th A380 and is the world’s biggest operator of the double-decker aircraft. The aircraft servicing Australia offer 489 seats in a three-class cabin configuration with 14 private suites in first, 76 flat-bed business class seats and 399 in economy.
An afternoon departure from Sydney will allow passengers to arrive in major European cities the following morning. Complementing this is a new option for passengers to depart London and main European cities in the morning with an afternoon arrival in Sydney the next day after a short connection in Dubai.
The new service will start as Qantas re-routes its Sydney-Dubai-London service to Singapore as it moves to improve fleet utilisations and capitalise on the fast-growing Asian market.
Emirates and Qantas recently renewed their alliance for another five years and the Gulf carrier said the fourth Sydney service complemented the Qantas strategy.
Emirates divisional vice president for Australasia Barry Brown said the move highlighted the airline’s commitment to the Australian market and providing travellers with better connections to its global network.
“As one of the great international cities of the world, Sydney is an important market for Emirates and this will create opportunities not only for Australians, but also for tourism and trade,” Brown said in a statement.
Emirates is also beefing up its Australian services with a third daily Boeing 777-200LR flight between Dubai and Brisbane starting December 1.
It also boosting ts third daily Dubai to Melbourne service from a B777-300ER to an A380 from March 25 to make Melbourne an all-A380 port.
This new capacity will see Emirates’ weekly flights between Australia and Dubai increase from 77 to 91.
Sister company Dnata is also muscling up in Australia with separate subsidiaries opening a new walk-up lounge in Melbourne and the southern hemisphere’s biggest commercial kitchen, also in the Victorian capital.
The Alpha Flight Services facility at Melbourne Airport covers more than 11,000 square metres and was completed at cost of $A50million.
The facility is capable of producing 750,000 meals each month, increasing the the company’s catering capacity by 50 per cent to more than 4,000 flights a month. It will employ more than 500 people, including 55 qualified chefs.
Dubai is not the only Gulf region boosting its services to Australia: Qatar Airways will start double daily services to Sydney from February 13 with a “tag” flight connecting Australian capital Canberra.