Emirates axes more trans-Tasman flights as Qantas takes over

By David Flynn, October 11 2017

Emirates will axe its Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland fights as of 25 March 2018, handing the bulk of its trans-Tasman flying over to partner Qantas.

The Gulf carrier currently flies its flagship Airbus A380 superjumbos daily from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland and back, and the international-grade business class seats and first class suites have proven popular with business travellers.

Qantas will fill the gap by boosting the number of flights across the pond in order to comply with the requirements of the original Qantas-Emirates alliance, which both airlines are seeking to extend to 2023.

This will include seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return flights per week between Brisbane and Auckland, with some of these moving from a Boeing 737 onto the larger and more comfortable Airbus A330 with its superior business class.

Read: Here is Qantas' new trans-Tasman flight schedule to Auckland

Qantas says its new trans-Tasman timetable will see flights "connect seamlessly to Qantas’ London services via Perth or Singapore" as the airline also looks to eat into the London-bound market of competitor Air New Zealand.

Emirates will retain a daily Dubai-Sydney-Christchurch Airbus A380 as its only trans-Tasman service and also reschedule its Australia flights "to create a better spread of departure times throughout the day", the airline said in a statement, aimed at improving connections at its Dubai hub.

Emirates CEO Tim Clark told Reuters that demand on its Australia-Auckland flights was reduced after the airline launched non-stop flights between Auckland and Dubai last year, leaving the superjumbo as too large an aircraft for the trans-Tasman hop.

“I guess if we had a smaller aeroplane we might not have” cancelled the New Zealand flights, Clark told Reuters. “The A380 is just too big for the market.”

Today's announcement marks the third set of trans-Tasman superjumbo flights on which Emirates has pulled the plug, following the July 2017 ditching of A380 flights between Sydney and Auckland in order to "optimise capacity on this route in line with changes in demand" on the highly-competitive route.

At the time the airline claimed it had no plans to drop the sibling Airbus A380 flights from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland, saying that Sydney-Auckland aside, "all other Emirates Trans-Tasman services will continue to operate as normal."

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

melbtraveler

melbtraveler

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jan 2015

Total posts 54

:( I will miss the A380 upper deck Mel-Akl

cdinoz

cdinoz

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2012

Total posts 132

So QF future strategy might have the 789's replacing the 330's to Asia, and send the 330's trans-cont and trans-Tasman? Have a decent product on those two key routes, perhaps?

watson374

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

They have 28 A330s (10 A330-300s and 18 A330-200s). These are probably coming off transcon, what with the end of the mining boom. While some B787-9s might indeed go into Asia--particularly on routes with heavy premium demand, like Tokyo-HND--one would expect the A330s to remain QF's Asia workhorse for a while longer.

silvyvc

silvyvc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2017

Total posts 41

QF159 is appearing as a new flight ex Melbourne - leaving 10 45am on an A330. QF151 looks like it's being upgraded from a B738 to A330, perfect for an overnight flight. Funny enough the QF reservations team has not eliminated QF8762... which I'll miss!

kiwiwings

kiwiwings

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 78

Yeah that red eye is brutal!! I swore I'd never do it again but unintentionally landed on it again a couple of weeks ago. Surprised how full that 737 was but the A330 lie flat would be strongly welcomed.

wdeguara

wdeguara

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 88

Will be interesting to see what ensuing changes there will be for the current EK434 (DXB>BNE) and return EK435 (BNE>DXB) a380 service. Can't see Emirates wanting to keep an a380 on the ground in BNE for 14½ hours every day.

John Phelan

John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 318

The story notes that EK will be adjusting the schedules for the Australian flights. You're quite right - they won't leave aircraft sitting on the ground in BNE, SYD and MEL all day.

blaird

blaird

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Aug 2013

Total posts 15

Will be interested to see what EK does with the SYD-BKK flight times now, I wonder if it will leave earlier in the day to compete with the QF flight

United69

United69

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

08 Sep 2016

Total posts 2

hoping EK does leave earlier to BKK..Arriving 1am is a pain. QF better timing but as a EK flyer I don't get upgrades on QF.

Alex Moris

Alex Moris

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 39

No! Gawd, Anyone flew Qantas international? It’s striped back to bare minimum... everything is on request. It certainly does not compare to the inflight product offerings of Emirates who IMO is a true PREMIUM airline.

tm_smile

tm_smile

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 100

I disagree, I think QF is still a very good premium airline, it an understated feel

eamond

eamond

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2014

Total posts 33

As I've flown QF international a couple times, no way their service is "bare minimum" and no way EK is a "true premium airline". QF's service is just as good and friendly, and the seat is IMHO superior than EK's one. I don't think it's too bad for the back of the plane either - I personally don't notice a lot of difference between the seats, maybe the IFE a bit but that's about it.

aklrunway

aklrunway

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 333

I'd fly Qantas over Emirates any day, any time

alenb

alenb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

14 Feb 2014

Total posts 32

well said

bodez

bodez

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Apr 2013

Total posts 29

This relationship with Emirates certainly continues to be interesting.

I wonder if PER-AKL might be next for some attention? EK 777? Though possibly too much capacity.

Morgan

Morgan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 May 2017

Total posts 1

Aww that's a shame - the flight times (and bigger aircrafts) between MEL and AKL on EK are perfect. Hopefully QF keep a similar schedule.

aussie-flyer

aussie-flyer

08 May 2017

Total posts 10

It always seemed a bit overkill having the a380s going across the Tasman. Oh well - they will be missed dearly!

wdeguara

wdeguara

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 88

Agree - it was kinda like taking a stretch limo down to the corner shops.....

markpk

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 449

It has always been a freight run for Emirates. Pax and cabin crew were a necessary distraction...

aggie57

aggie57

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 148

It was nice while it lasted.

netgun

netgun

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 14

Bugger. Glad I got to do MEL-AKL and back in J a couple of months ago. I couldn't understand the economics of it but was very happy to have the experience. It's quite special flying in the upper deck of these big birds especially in EK format. I spent most of the flight at the bar chatting to staff and a couple of other passengers.

davidlupton

davidlupton

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

12 Feb 2016

Total posts 17

Yep the trans tasman timing westbound was ideal for the A380 bar. But i never liked going through the transit security in AUS.

TheHawk

TheHawk

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 9

Shame, just about everything on Emirates was superior to Qantas - seats, food, IFE and more often than not service. Plus a good opportunity to access business and first cabins for a reasonable price.

Qantas 737’s are pretty average, JetConnect are worse. The A330 is ok I guess, poor legroom and my issue with Qantas is it’s inconsistent crew service. Some flights are great, others are absolute shockers (usually the older, matronly types)

skystar

skystar

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 13

Hawk the Qantas & Jetconnect 737s are identical apart from Nz crews on Jetconnect and the later delivered Qf 737s have the sky interior.

United69

United69

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

08 Sep 2016

Total posts 2

Unfortunately arrived on EK418 yest from BKK and flight was full and couldn't upgrade..There service in economy was crap.waited 2 hours to get drink or food...Should only be an hour at most to get trollys thru..

Private Pilot

Private Pilot

26 Sep 2017

Total posts 43

This was kind of expected, and very sad for many of us...QANTAS has been bleeding custom to Emirates since the early part of 2007 when Emirates brought their very superior A380 to these sectors.
Now it is with great loathing that I have had to book all my future trans Tasman flights with the inferior QANTAS airline, who offers more expensive seats, on either an A330 with business class seats a cheap copy of the Emirates style and no bar...or if you want to feel REALLY ripped off, a B737...lol!!!

billamm

billamm

Etihad Guest

23 Dec 2012

Total posts 4

I did read somewhere that because of the high ground fees at Sydney Airport, it was actually more cost effective to fly the A380s over to Auckland, even partially full of passengers/cargo, than was leave them stood idle for 14 hours.

Not sure if the article was borne in fact or pure fiction and it was a good few years back, but I could see the logic...pinch of salt was definitely required, but if true, perhaps the economics no longer stack up.

watson374

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

I would argue that that made sense back when EK weren't flying as many frequencies into and out of Australia as they are now, so the schedule would've required parking an A380 on the East Coast for the whole day, but doesn't anymore, given they now run enough frequencies to do quick turnarounds, like the new afternoon arrival DXB-SYD forming the SYD-BKK-DXB flight.

aggie57

aggie57

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 148

Shame also for Auckland airport who spent up big on gates to handle the 380’s.

TheHawk

TheHawk

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 9

They still have the direct Auckland-Dubai A380’s

But given the future of the A380 the same could be said of many airports I guess

krisdude

krisdude

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 159

The A380 gates at AKL are also used by by SQ when they fly the summer SIN/AKL/AKL services.

krisdude

krisdude

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 159

I doesn't suprise me that EK is pulling their Trans Tasman services except Christchurch. The A380 is expensive to operate on short haul international flights, as It was designed for long haul international flights.

There has been speculation for some time, that EK is thinking of operating AKL/LAX and/or AKL/SFO with A380's. as part of EK 'around the world' route project. Even Air NZ is aware of it. If this does happen, it would be great for QF, as AKL/LAX is still a missing link in their Trans Pacific services especially with AA only offering season services during our summer.

With the Amercia Cup been planned for 2023 in Auckland, the current speculation could become a reality. Watch this space.

Private Pilot

Private Pilot

26 Sep 2017

Total posts 43

Stop Press!!!
Further to my previous post, I am Gold with both QANTAS and Emirates and feel thus somewhat tied to use their services, but last week I absolutely didn't want to return on that (expensive and) noisy B737 that QANTAS offers as its direct business class replacement for the AKL-SYD EK419, so I flew Air New Zealand business....they use B787-9 with a cheerful light and airy cabin layout designed well for single travellers down the A side, and couples/families down the K side...and Air New Zealand food and service is of VERY high quality. It was an eminently more comfortable journey than my QANTAS journey.

paulf

paulf

16 Sep 2017

Total posts 5

Air New Zealand business food might be good, but the economy food on a flight a couple of weeks ago (AKL-MEL) was very, very ordinary. and shows signs of significant cost cutting.

At least I still got an ice cream, which is more than Virgin's economy meal that is no longer delivered on a tray it is so small.

Emirates trans-Tasman economy food is still very good.

NQPsych2U

NQPsych2U

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 May 2017

Total posts 15

I've always found the quality of service and in-flight experience of AirNZ underrated. I feel they are a reasonably priced trans tas experience.

It's disappointing that their partnership with VA has deteriorated.

Rita Cavanagh

Rita Cavanagh

01 Dec 2011

Total posts 11

Just checked my flight to AKL on 30/3--changed from QF8762 on EK A380, dep 0810, to QF 153 on QF B737 800 winglets, dep 0730. So I'll have to get up half an hour earlier, glad I'm flying business class, on my way to S America, but with 4 nights in NZ

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Devastated...Melbourne to Auckland will never be the same.

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Might make my next trip to Auckland First Class instead of Business before the luxury of narrow body takes over, YUCK.

alenb

alenb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

14 Feb 2014

Total posts 32

bye bye NZ might as well go to townsville and fly a broom

eija

eija

14 Oct 2013

Total posts 5

David do we know date for the last AKL-MEL flight... is it 28 February 2018???

Chrisor

Chrisor

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Apr 2013

Total posts 146

Sydney Christchurch EK flights days are numbered too from what an EK flight attendant told me on the weekend. Enjoy it while it lasts.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1127

That'd be sad if true.

eija

eija

14 Oct 2013

Total posts 5

David never mind I have found the last AKL-MEL flight.

rowwdy

rowwdy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 135

Is it known whether these a330s will move into the Jetconnect stable?

watson374

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

There are rumblings that Jetconnect cabin crews might be put onto the A330 flights but with mainline flight crews, as per the old AKL-LAX practice (and similar to current JQi practice on some of the Asian routes like MEL-SIN). We'll see.

Russjking

Russjking

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 75

All this is somewhat worrying, given the reported financial problems in the other ME airlines. I rather suspect that they grew too fast, with shiny new planes, and all those holidaymakers who wanted to come down-under have now done so.

I see this latest news as indicating a contraction in services for the whole industry and wonder if more pain is to come.

afloskar

afloskar

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 130

This really brings the new EK430 departure from BNE at 2225 into play as there is no more a 2100 departure. Hopefully the 77L is upgraded to an A380 as a result.

Twonson

Twonson

09 Dec 2015

Total posts 4

What a pity, will miss the F suits across the ditch!

TiakiC

TiakiC

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2017

Total posts 1

QF123 and QF126 between Brisbane and Auckland seem to have been Upgraded from a 737 to A330-2

Too Technical

Too Technical

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Oct 2016

Total posts 40

The article said these services would connect seamlessly with London services through Perth and Singapore, does that mean a Qantas AKL-PER route is coming as a daily service, year round?

freshthoughts

freshthoughts

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Aug 2016

Total posts 59

an AKL-PER would put Qantas on equal footing with air NZ for a one stop service from AKL to LHR. could be a game changer

JalanM111

JalanM111

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Dec 2015

Total posts 2

What am I going to do now to boost my Status Credit points with Qantas? Those sale price First flights will be sadly missed ☹

krisdude

krisdude

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 159

I doesn't suprise me that EK is pulling their Trans Tasman services except Christchurch. The A380 is expensive to operate on short haul international flights, as It was designed for long haul international flights.

There has been speculation for some time, that EK is thinking of operating AKL/LAX and/or AKL/SFO with A380's. as part of EK 'around the world' route project. Even Air NZ is aware of it. If this does happen, it would be great for QF, as AKL/LAX is still a missing link in their Trans Pacific services especially with AA only offering season services during our summer.

With the Americas Cup been planned for 2023 in Auckland, the current speculation could become a reality. Watch this space.

aklrunway

aklrunway

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 333

Are Emirates allowed to operate AKL/LAX?

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1127

Would the NZ government ever allow that?

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

What will happen with the AKL EK Lounge?

silvyvc

silvyvc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2017

Total posts 41

I'm interested to see if QF FF will be able to access. From what we've heard, Emirates has been quite picky and has denied access to QF FF when flying in QF metal and wanting to use EK's lounges.

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Rather puzzled why they are leaving the EK A380 SYD CHC, any suggestions, not long ago that was a 777 service and was never full.

Private Pilot

Private Pilot

26 Sep 2017

Total posts 43

With regard to lounge access (silvyvc's comment)...here's how I believe it works. If you're travelling on a QANTAS ticket and using an Emirates plane, you will be allowed in the Emirates lounge if your frequent flyer status with Emirates is gold or better. And the same applies in reverse. QANTAS will deny you access on an Emirates ticket unless you have QANTAS gold status.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Is there any chance that Taiwanese airline China Airlines will again operate its A330s from MEL across the Tasman sensing a better market once EK withdraws?

I'm guessing that previously China Airlines found the TransTasman going hard because unlike Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney may not have sizeable Taiwanese migrant communities. They all love the Sunshine State!


That's what we really need from both SYD and MEL - more airlines flying Aus - NZ - although Sydney is better off than Melbourne at this time, even with EK's impending cessation of all but SYD - CHC.

TAVITA

TAVITA

20 Oct 2017

Total posts 2

Sorry folks more bad news Qantas no longer flys a summer timetable from Perth non stop to Auckland.I was booked in business class and had my reservation cancelled yesterday. Qantas is now back to one international route out of Perth that is Singapore on a nasty 737-800.Perth to New Zealand is once again via the eastern states or on the other airline.Good news the new 789 is flying domestically MEL/PER

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Emirates axes more trans-Tasman flights as Qantas takes over