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Emirates hopes to upgrade all its flights to Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide to Airbus A380 jets on the back of the airline's recent US$16 billion order for an additional 36 superjumbos on top of its current 101-strong fleet.
Boeing 777s currently darting between each of those three cities and Dubai would be replaced by the flagship A380s, providing a substantial boost in capacity.
"There will come a time when people will say ‘now what do we do? I’ve got no more (airport) slots'," Sir Tim Clark told Fairfax Media, which also reported Clark saying Emirates "would likely replace its remaining 777s flying into Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide with A380s following its recent order."
Emirates already has three daily A380 flights from Sydney, which Clark praised as a "goldmine" market, and one each out of Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
However, the Gulf carrier has also pulled out its A380s off trans-Tasman flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland citing competition on that add-on leg.
"Alan was starting to realise that the partnership was so strong, with our metal doing so much in the west for him, that it was perhaps a good time to rethink their strategy."
However, the impact of Qantas' shift towards ultra-long range non-stop flights – including direct routes to London and New York from 2022 – remains to be seen.
"Will that affect what we do out of Australia into those cities, because he’ll be going non-stop and we’ll have an intermediate point (our hub) is anybody’s guess," Clark said.
"If the market grows, there’s plenty for all. If it flatlines or goes south, all of us have to go into a reset mode."