Emirates: no plans to axe more trans-Tasman Airbus A380 flights

By David Flynn, June 14 2017
Emirates: no plans to axe more trans-Tasman Airbus A380 flights

Emirates says it has no plans to drop trans-Tasman Airbus A380 flights from Melbourne and Brisbane in the wake of a decision to shutter the daily superjumbo service between Sydney and Auckland.

From July 13 2017, Emirates will no longer send its A380 – complete with first class suites, lie-flat business class beds and an inflight bar – darting across the ditch, relying instead on partner Qantas to bridge the capacity gap with Airbus A330s.

However, other superjumbo services between Melbourne, Brisbane and New Zealand seem safe from the axe.

A spokesperson for Emirates told Australian Business Traveller that Sydney-Auckland aside, "all other Emirates Trans-Tasman services will continue to operate as normal."

“There is significant capacity on the Sydney-Auckland route, and of Emirates’ Tasman services it is the most highly-competed route," the spokesperson observed.

"Our partnership with Qantas allows us to better meet capacity with an aircraft that is more in line with projected demand on this specific route."

Air New Zealand CEO Chris Luxon recently told Australian Business Traveller that while he didn’t consider Emirates’ A380s as “a big threat” due to the timing of their schedule, "it's just that the amount of added capacity coming into the Tasman from those players is the challenge."


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.


12 Jun 2014

Total posts 22

It's certainly amazing that any airline can justify flying the A380 trans-Tasman. It's a wonderful plane to fly on.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 476

Its all about the freight they can fit underneath... 

Self-loading freight is a necessary inconvenience for Emirates...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 704

Which is why I'm surprised that SYD-AKL was the first to go as you'd think that the freight loads on that route would be highest.

I would have thought that BNE-AKL or SYD-CHC would be smaller routes in the freight market.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


Contrary to popular belief, swapping 380 for 332 on SYD-AKL by the EK+QF alliance has almost no impact to the belly freight capacity actually available.

Each LD3 container typically can hold the total checked bag allowances fm no more than 20pax.  A QF 332 has about 270seats and belly space for 26 LD3s.  @ full pax after accounting for checked bags, it'll hv around 12.5 LD3s remaining to carry Rev$ cargo.  An EK 380 has about 500seats and belly space for 38 LD3s.  @ full pax after accounting for checked bags, it'll hv around 13 LD3s remaining to carry Rev$ cargo.

Probably due to its sheer physical size visually, 380 can carry more freight than all other pax types is a bit of a myth....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 704

With the EK 380's they often only fill 100 seats so one would assume that there'd be more space for cargo but maybe that's just my thoughts...

The main point was the handover of the route from Skycargo to Qantas freight. If you go and attempt to make a Skycargo booking from SYD-AKL after 13 July instead of getting the codeshare result the skycargo site insists on SYD-MEL(Truck) then MEL-AKL(A380) or SYD-CHC(A380) then CHC-AKL(Truck). To me thats, the most surprising thing is that EK would just hand over a route like that especially when you'd think it would be the busiest of all A380 TT flights.

Also I don't know where your getting the numbers from but on Qantas Freight the QF A332 has space for 14 LD3's (for people with zero freight knowledge that the metal containers you normally going into the plane) and 4 LD7's (they are the metal pallets with the cargo nets on them) when empty but only space for 4 LD3's and the same 4 LD7's when fully loaded with pax.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


"Its all about the freight they can fit underneath..."
Which is not much room to begin with for any 380 after accounting for all those checked bags owned by upto around  500pax sitting on the 2decks above.

An EK 380 has belly space for 38 LD3 containers.  In contrast, a NZ 789 flying similar Trans-Tasman routes has belly space for 36 LD3s.  When all seats are filled, easy to guess which 1 has more room remaining in their bellies to carry Rev$ cargo....

"Self-loading freight is a necessary inconvenience for Emirates..."
Within EK pax fleet, the ultimate freight hauler is never the 380.  It's the 77W and later, the 779....a true freight monster with a belly to swallow 48 LD3s(Nearly equivalent to 3 forty-foot marine containers).


13 Aug 2016

Total posts 67

Add to that NZ's entry level fares don't included checked bags on the Tasman = 90% of the Y passengers using the over head bins rather than an LD3


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 732

Thank goodness for that.


07 Jan 2017

Total posts 30

EK are short of A380 crew due to retirements and resignations. The reduction saves 2 sets of crew and lots of $$$$ in expensive SYD accommodation.

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