Qantas partner Emirates will launch flights between Auckland and Dubai via Denpasar (Bali) from June, using its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
As with the airline's other 'Fifth Freedom' flights, passengers will be able to travel solely between Auckland and Bali or between Bali and Dubai as part of the service, without needing to complete the full journey from Auckland to Dubai: although that's also an option.
From June 14 2018, the new Dubai-Bali-Auckland service will run daily using a three-class Boeing 777 aircraft, offering eight private suites in first class:
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Behind that, a 42-seat business class cabin, arranged in a 2-3-2 layout. On some of Emirates' Boeing 777s, these seats are only angled-flat – not fully-flat – although on newer jets, the seats are the latter, with an updated look and feel:
From Dubai, flight EK450 will depart at 6:55am local time to reach Bali at 8:20pm on the same calendar day, before continuing onto Auckland at 10pm, and arriving at 10am in New Zealand the following morning.
On the return, EK451 pushes back at 12:40pm, touching down in Denpasar at 5:55pm that day. After a 1hr 55m stopover, the aircraft jets onwards to Dubai at 7:50pm, landing just after midnight the following morning, at 12:45am.
This new route also introduces Emirates' first class to Bali, as the airline's current Bali-Dubai flights offer only business class and economy.
While Emirates also runs a daily non-stop Auckland-Dubai Airbus A380 flight, the airline is axing its separate Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland flights from March 2018.
The new service via Bali allows Emirates to continue serving Auckland via a stopover point, to maximise passenger loads on all parts of the journey: including from Kiwi travellers heading to Bali, as the only airline to fly Auckland-Bali non-stop, year-round.
(Air New Zealand runs seasonal flights between the two cities, ranging from two to five flights per week across April to October, however.)
Emirates also serves Christchurch in New Zealand with daily Dubai-Sydney-Christchurch Airbus A380 flights.