Emirates Airbus A380 returns to Sydney in December

The well-appointed superjumbo, with its first class showers and upper deck cocktail bar, is on the way back.

By David Flynn, October 25 2021
Emirates Airbus A380 returns to Sydney in December

Another superjumbo is headed for Sydney, with Gulf carrier and Qantas partner Emirates shifting its current daily Dubai-Sydney flight from a Boeing 777 to an Airbus A380 from December 1.

It's the latest sign that demand for international travel is on the up, following moves by New South Wales to scrap quarantine on November 1 – the same day that Australia's contentious overseas travel ban will be consigned to history.

Emirates is obviously seeing a swell of interest from Australians not only keen to rejoin the world – especially reconnecting with overseas family for Christmas – but also those estimated 40,000 citizens living abroad who are eager to return home.

(For the time being, inbound flights to Australia are restricted to citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families, with an expectation that cap will lift in late December.)

Emirates' Sydney-bound A380 features 14 enclosed first class suites and 76 business class seats, although not the airline's new premium economy, launched in December 2020 and still found on only a handful of jets.

Also read: Five things you need to know about Emirates' new premium economy

The airline warns that its cabin crew will look a little different, clad in full personal protective equipment (PPE) kit – one of the most obvious signs that what people are calling 'post-pandemic travel' is still taking place in the shadow of Covid-19.

For passengers, it's obviously necessary to wear a mask except when eating or drinking.

First class flyers will be happy to find the two shower suites are still in operation – it's still among the most indulgent experiences you can enjoy on a commercial aircraft.

The upper deck lounge and cocktail bar is also once again open for business and first class passengers, although the airline notes that "capacity is currently limited to a maximum of four seated customers and standing in the lounge is not permitted."

You can however order snacks and drinks at the bar to be enjoyed back in your own seat.

December 1 will also see the return of Singapore Airlines' A380 to Sydney, and later in the month the first Qantas A380 to come out of desert storage will wing its way back to Qantas' home base, with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce quipping it may even arrive on Christmas Day.

Although it won't be flying passengers until April, when the A380s resumes the flagship Sydney-Los Angeles route, the prior months will be spent getting the plane, the pilots and crew all back up to readiness.

This will include a series of training flights, although at this stage it's not known if those will be carried out on an empty A380 in the skies above Sydney, or if Qantas will put on some special scenic 'Welcome back, A380' flights where the public can buy tickets or even drop the superjumbo into the schedule on selected short routes.

Read more: Qantas brings back the A380 even earlier


10 Oct 2013

Total posts 115

does anyone know if emirates are planning to return to adl?

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 45

Why are the cabin crew still wearing Hazmat suits? Surely a little outdated from 2020 now that vaccinations are now in place?

Not sure again why standing is not permitted at the bar considering at on arrival at the baggage carasole or even aero bridge upon boarding your standing shoulder to shoulder. 

"Why are the cabin crew still wearing Hazmat suits?" Consider it an 'abundance of caution', Qatar Airways does the same thing. It's a bit un-nerving!

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 7

Don't like the airline's policies, don't fly.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

I agree, it's definitely unnerving! Having said that, officials in Asian countries are still wearing hazmat suits at airports too. Looks like something out of a cheap science fiction movie and would have been laughed off as a "conspiracy theory" back in 2019 if anyone had suggested airports were going to be transformed from their usual busy selves to empty, dystopian places full of men and women clad in white suits.

Shame about bar limits - vertical consumption is the best way to fly

24 Jun 2020

Total posts 22

80 first and business class seats and only 4 allowed in the bar - that could be a problem

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Apr 2017

Total posts 5

I was pretty disappointed about being booked on a 777 out of Melbourne, but with the A380 bar effectively closed I suppose the only difference will be aisle access.

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