Emirates is shaking up its Australian schedule, with two Airbus A380 flights to Sydney and Melbourne being swapped for the less-salubrious Boeing 777-300ER.
The Qantas partner is also making changes to its sole daily Adelaide-Dubai service and temporarily trimming the number of flights between Perth and Dubai.
An Emirates media statement issued to Australian Business Traveller outlined the changes listed below, adding these "decisions were made after a recent review of our operations, which was undertaken to ensure the optimal commercial utilisation of our aircraft fleet."
Update [2/10/18}: an Emirates spokesperson has advised Australian Business Traveller that none of the Boeing 777-300ERs which will be replacing Airbus A380s on flights from Sydney and Melbourne will be fitted with the Gulf carrier's swanky new first class suites.
Emirates flights: Sydney-Dubai
The daily EK416/EK417 flight between Sydney and Dubai – a flagship service which has historically featured the Airbus A380, although a Boeing 777-300ER was temporarily rostered on from July 1 through to October 27 2018 – will now stay locked on the Boeing 777 rather than return to the superjumbo.
Losing the superjumbo on this flight not only means losing the popular inflight bar, but fewer business class seats – which on the Boeing 777-300ER are in the less-popular 2-3-2 layout – plus fewer first class suites (and no first class shower).
Emirates flights: Sydney-Bangkok-Dubai
Another of Emirates' Airbus A380s will leave Australian skies from January 15 2019, with the daily EK418/EK419 service connecting Sydney, Bangkok and Dubai shifting down to a Boeing 777-300ER.
Emirates flights: Melbourne-Singapore-Dubai
A third Emirates superjumbo getting the axe is EK404/EK405, the A380 which flies daily between Melbourne, Singapore and Dubai.
This will be wound back to a Boeing 777-300ER as of January 15 2019 (the same swap will also briefly be seen between November 2 and November 20 2018).
However, a spokesperson for Emirates has revealed to Australian Business Traveller that as of January 15, "another flight between Dubai and Singapore will be upgraded to an A380" – which will see two Dubai-Singapore flights on the A380 and two on the Boeing 777.
Emirates flights: Adelaide-Dubai
Emirates' sole daily flight between Adelaide and Dubai (EK440/EK441) will drop from a Boeing 777-300ER to the Boeing 777-200LR from October 28 to November 30 2018, as well as February 1 to April 15 2019.
There is, however, some upside: this Boeing 777-200LR will be one of the jets fitted with the refreshed 2-2-2 business class seats (shown below) instead of the more common 2-3-2 configuration.
However, this win for business class passengers is a loss for first class flyers, as the process of upgrading each Boeing 777-200LR sees its first class suites removed.
Emirates flights: Perth-Dubai
Emirates currently has two daily flights between Perth and Dubai, but this will be dropped to 11 flights per week from November 7 to November 30 2018, and February 5 to April 15 2019.
The affected flights are EK424/EK425 – between those dates listed above, EK424 will run only on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
There's no change to the daily Airbus A380 service of EK420/EK421.