Emirates temporarily winds back flights to Australia, New Zealand

By David Flynn, July 10 2018
Emirates temporarily winds back flights to Australia, New Zealand

Emirates will reduce flights to Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland over April and May 2019 due to runway updates at its sprawling Dubai hub, with travellers needing to plan around the temporary cut-backs.

For Sydneysiders, the daily Airbus A380 EK417 flight to Dubai will be paused between April 18 and May 29 2019, according to the airline's booking system, as is EK416 from Dubai to Sydney during the same period, leaving three daily Airbus A380 flights.

The daily non-stop Boeing 777 service between Brisbane and Dubai (EK431/EK430) is also cut from April 17 to May 29, although Emirates' daily non-stop Airbus A380 service continues during this period, as does its other Boeing 777 flight which detours via Singapore in each direction.

Some flights on the Adelaide-Dubai and Auckland-Bali-Dubai routes are also being wound back, typically with 2-3 cancellations each week over the six-week period.

Out of Perth, the airline's double-daily flights are reduced to one service each day, with Emirates' Boeing 777 EK424/EK425 flights on hiatus during the dates above, leaving a single daily Airbus A380 flight.

Flights to other destinations including London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports face similar reductions during the same period.

In statement issued by Emirates this afternoon, in response to enquiries from Australian Business Traveller, the airline said it "is aware of the planned upgrade works on the southern runway at DXB which will be carried out from April to May 2019."

"We will have to adjust capacity due to the planned runway closure. Details are being worked on and will be announced closer to date.”


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.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1190

Perth to Europe is showing signs that it is pretty maxxed out and obviously the yields achievable are declining accordingly. You'd think this would make Qantas a bit leery about launching direct services from PER to CDG or FRA in the short term.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 389

QF doesn't solely rely on Perth O&D for it's Europe non-stop with the majority of pax O&D from ADL, MEL, SYD, BNE etc so I don't think this EK change would impact QF strategy on a CDG or FRA service.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 363

Can't really compare a PER-CDG/FRA service to a second daily PER-Middle East service... apples and oranges.


19 Sep 2013

Total posts 191

One I'm worried about is Qatar - don't want to lose that great service.

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 126

Flights to the Middle East halved now. Gone from 4 to 2 in 8 months.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 206

This flight was poorly supported locally, i know i always avoided it... with terrible arrival and dept times, no intra state connections, and passengers enduring the 777 product.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Dec 2016

Total posts 31

Sigh. At least the Emirates A380 is still flying to Perth.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 358

David it might be worth checking with EK on flights from Brisbane as a search in April 2019 is showing only 2 daily with EK430/431 removed at least until mate May.

13 Dec 2012

Total posts 4

David I think this article should be removed until you have all the facts about the DXB runway works. Seems unfair to tarnish EK’s good reputation in the Perth market.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 114

Totally agree. The article infers this may be a suspension, not axing / cancelling...need to get facts straight

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Apr 2012

Total posts 14

I flew on this flight into Perth on 22nd June and economy was less than 50% full. Great being the only passenger in a window row of 3 and whole row having 5 passengers. Thought they would have waited to see the effects of EY cancelling before reducing services

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 119

They have to reduce capacity for runway works they have done this many times before

23 Sep 2015

Total posts 47

Yep, was the subject of a couple of episodes of Ultimate Airport Dubai a few years back...

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 114

Actually do a search from 1 June 2019...both flights are listed

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2555

As promised, this article has now been updated based on Emirates' response.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1381

The reduction appears to be global.

Routes online has a great summary.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2555

Oh, it's global alright, we have just focussed on the routes in our backyard so to speak – but to check on how this impacts connecting flights, in what appears to be an evolving list, readers can visit https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/279507/emirates-outlines-2q19-service-reductions-for-dubai-airport-runway-upgrade-project/

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 4

Im booked on EK417 23 May 2019 as a Qantas FF redemption in First. The flight still is showing on my Qantas account as active and when I manage my booking on Emirates website the flight seems OK. Qantas FF know nothing about it. What usually happens in these circumstances. Do I automatically get rebooked or do I need to be proactive and find a new flight ?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 362

It varies from airline to airline. But generally they should rebook you in the same class (if available) on the next flight.

I had this happen to me twice on Thai and Asiana. Thai was a first class booking but due to equipment change with no F available on that route, they automatically booked me to business class. For the Asiana flight, the flight on my day was cancelled and they put me to next day's flight.

I had 2 choices in those situations. One is getting it refunded without penalty or accept the change, and get the issuing airline to reissue the ticket to sync with the new flight.

11 Jul 2018

Total posts 7

I'm in the same boat, booked for April 30th on EK417. As Emirates hasn't seemed to have made an official announcement I don't think anything will come of it for a few days at least. Qantas said the same thing - they said they weren't aware and asked for a link to the announcment from Emirates.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 6

UAE424/425 Cancelled between 17APR19 and 01JUN19 STC

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 6

*Meant Suspended.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

26 Jul 2012

Total posts 37

Of note EK416/17 is now a B773ER not a A380

14 Nov 2017

Total posts 1

EK416/17 is only a B773ER until end of October after that it is back to an A380 so when the runway closes in May it will be an A380

03 Nov 2017

Total posts 1

Reporting details based upon their "booking system" might not be the best journalistic practice as the reality could be quite different to what they've published. As a matter of clarity, do you mean GDS or their own PSS system?

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1024

What are they doing to the runway that it requires being closed for 6 weeks?

They did a full rebuild of both runways in 2014 which was meant to prevent their needing major works before 2024.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 120

There's a bit more explanatory info on the Dubai Airports website. TIP: Google "Southern Runway Rehabilitation Programme"


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1435

A very busy airport in incredible heat. Hard to keep it functioning at the rate it does without maintenance and even a rebuild. Hopefully Al Maktoum will come on line soon or at least ease the load on the current runways.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Jul 2018

Total posts 1

I find the different views on this news quite interesting.

We travel to Europe during this period every year, having just got back from Italy just 2 weeks ago. We prefer the morning flight. We nearly always find the staff on the 777 more pleasant than the 380 and this trip was no exception, this is for J class. I acknowledge the connection times with the earlier flight from Perth but we book an overnight hotel in Dubai (as little as $80) and with a decent nights sleep are ready to go when we hit our final destination. The price for J class between the two current flights can be as much as $1200 dearer on the evening flight, per person. The 0600 business class is nearly always full, or thereabouts. This may be a blessing in disguise as we might now consider other airlines with, maybe, different stopovers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2018

Total posts 4

Johnny2803 my family also has preferred the morning flight , as you hit Dubai early afternoon and have a sleep before going onwards to Europe the next day , although I do prefer the A380 . So echo your thoughts , although I think this flight (EK424) will be back once runway maintainance (in Dubai) is completed .

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 267

Why is Melbourne not reduced too?

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 382

Is it a commentary on how well loadings are doing at present? EK has two nonstops plus one daily via BKK. SQ has four daily, plus a fifth on four days a week, plus Scoot. QF has two but JQ is down to just two a week each way.

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