Emirates axes Melbourne-Kuala Lumpur flights

By Chris C., June 9 2016
Emirates axes Melbourne-Kuala Lumpur flights

Emirates will ditch its daily flights between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur later this year to add another non-stop service between the Victorian capital and the airline’s home hub of Dubai.

From October 31 2016, EK409 – the current Melbourne-KL-Dubai flight – becomes a direct Melbourne-Dubai service, while EK408 on the return from Dubai adopts the same, an Emirates spokesperson has confirmed.

What’s more, flying without the Malaysian detour allows Emirates to make the flight times more ‘frequent flyer friendly’, moving the Melbourne departure from 3:35am to 6am and the arrival home from the return flight from 2:05am to 11:20pm.

Touch-down and take-off times in Dubai remain relatively unchanged, allowing travellers to easily connect between Australia and major destinations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, Emirates continues to offer eight first class seats up the very front, stretching to a comfortable 201cm with proper bedding, pyjamas and slippers provided:

Read: Emirates Boeing 777 first class review, Melbourne-Singapore

Business class, on the other hand, sees angled-flat beds in a 2-3-2 layout...

... except for a small number of the airline’s newest jets which will provide fully-flat beds from November, but in the same seven-across configuration:

Read: Emirates reveals new Boeing 777 business class seat

Emirates has faced increasing competition on its Melbourne-Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne-Middle East/Europe routes with Malaysia Airlines launching all-new, fully-flat business class seats on its own Melbourne-Kuala Lumpur route, flying twice-daily by late September 2016:

AusBT review: Malaysia Airlines’ new Airbus A330 business class

Etihad Airways has also upgraded one of its double-daily flights between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi from a Boeing 777 to an Airbus A380 – offering business class travellers fully-flat beds in addition to its stellar First Class Apartments and The Residence VIP suite for high flyers…

Step into your Etihad First Class Apartment aboard the Airbus A380...
Step into your Etihad First Class Apartment aboard the Airbus A380...

… along with opening a new Etihad Airways lounge at Melbourne Airport just last month:

Photos: Etihad opens Melbourne Airport premium lounge

Emirates’ other Australia-Asia-Dubai flights remain on sale, with the exception of Brisbane-Singapore-Dubai which is also running without the Singapore stopover until late September due to night runway works at Brisbane Airport.

Emirates continues to offer a separate non-stop Melbourne-Dubai service aboard its Airbus A380, a Melbourne-Singapore-Dubai flight also on the superjumbo and a codeshare option on Qantas' own Airbus A380.

Also read: Emirates opens new Melbourne Airport lounge

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

28 May 2016

Total posts 128

MEL has really seen lots of gulf expansion of late, Etihad with the a380 upgauge, and EK with the a380 DXB-SIN-MEL upgrade.


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 737

Good move.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 271

Wow this is actually surprising (from a personal level).

Everytime I flew this route (and I do so a lot) it was generally a full flight. While I understand the reason for this move, this leaves only Malaysia Airlines as the sole runner on this direct route (from premium airlines). 

Although the upside is that Malaysia Airlines will be switching to fully flat on all Aus routes, if they haven't already, and now that they are partners they'll be feeding into Malaysia Airlines I suppose. 

Still, I enjoyed Business on Emirates on this route. 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

Given EK has hit its limits insofar as flights between major Australian capitals and DXB, I'd expect to see this flight upgraded to an A380 fairly quickly.  Its arrival and departure times means it will have no issues getting A380 gate access in MEL.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1017

Given that the air service agreements are between countries, not states or airlines, if EK is at the limit for flights to SYD/MEL/BNE/PER, then so is EY.

They would still be able to add flights to the secondary AU ports such as ADL, CBR, OOL, CNS or DRW.

07 Feb 2016

Total posts 21

Actually, Australia has separate bilateral agreements with Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where Etihad Airways and Emirates are the only local long haul carriers. Dubai/EK has 105 weekly entitlements to BNE, MEL, PER and SYD and currently uses 77;  Abu Dhabi/EY is using 39 of the 56 weekly flights available to it for the four main Australian gateways. Secondary airlines have open skies access. There is scope for growth but I gues EK and EY are focussing on consolidating capacity.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1017

That does not appear to be the case. There is a single agreement between Australia and UAE. If the UAE has decided to split the allowed across different emirates, then that's their choice.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2015

Total posts 124

I think this is a result of the MH/EK partnership, EK ends service to Melbourne from KL and MH is funnelling passengers into Dubai.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1252

That would make sense.

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 58

Great to have a morning departure for Melbourne, only Melbourne service to the middle eastern hubs to depart early. 

knowing EK, expect and a380 someday 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Dec 2014

Total posts 57

As a Qantas Frequent Flyer this is disappointing, as I could book a flight to KL on a QF ticket at full points and Status Credits. Flying Malaysian only gives Discount Economy levels of same. 

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