Emirates brings Airbus A380s back to Brisbane, Perth

The Gulf carrier and Qantas partner continues a steady rebuild of its Australian network.

By David Flynn, December 24 2021
Emirates brings Airbus A380s back to Brisbane, Perth

2022 will be the year the Airbus A380 returns in strength to Australian skies, with superjumbo stalwart Emirates sending its flagship double-decker jet to Brisbane and Perth while also launching a double-daily A380 schedule between Melbourne and Dubai.

These will complement the Gulf carrier’s existing Sydney-Dubai A380 and signify Emirates’ confidence in the resurgence of international travel some two years after the Covid pandemic first swept the globe, with the airline’s Australian head Barry Brown noting that "the demand for international travel grows by the day."

As previously reported, Qantas is bringing its A380s out of retirement ahead of schedule to take on Sydney-Los Angeles from March and Sydney-London from June.

Melbourne sees its first Emirates A380 in February 1 2022, with a second now scheduled from June 30.

Emirates’ daily Perth flight is now listed to shift from a Boeing 777 to an A380 as of June 17 – some five months after the airline recommences Perth-Dubai flights after WA unlocks its state borders on February 5 – while Brisbane gets the same upgrade from July 1.

Those will both be welcomed by travellers eager to swap that long trek on the older Boeing jets for the quieter and modern A380, especially when it comes to the more spacious business class seats and private first class suites, plus of course that iconic cocktail bar.

At the time of writing, none of these A380s feature Emirates’ new premium economy seats, which would no doubt hold strong appeal on these 11-14 hour flights.

However, those premium economy recliners will be added to 52 of Emirates' flagship Airbus A380s – along with and 53 Boeing 777s – from the end of 2022, so there’s a solid chance they’ll be available to Australian flyers in 2023.

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

Emirates' flights are coming back to Australia, but its lounges remain closed for now...
Emirates' flights are coming back to Australia, but its lounges remain closed for now...

And as for Adelaide, Emirates remains tight-lipped about when it would recommence flights to the City of Churches, saying it "is one amongst many cities where Emirates operations remain suspended due to ongoing impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic."

"We hope to restart our operations in Adelaide when it is commercially and operationally feasible to do so in the future," a spokesman for the airline tells Executive Traveller.

While Emirates’ lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth remain shuttered, the spokesperson said “Emirates looks forward to reopening our own lounges in line with the continued growing demand for international travel sometime in 2022.” 

Emirates counts 123 superjumbos in its globe-striding fleet, and earlier this month took delivery of the last A380 ever to be built, as Airbus ended production of the world’s largest commercial airliner just over 15 years since its inaugural flight.

“It defined us, in many respects,” noted Emirates president Sir Tim Clark. “We’ve spent an inordinate amount on product, both in flight and on the ground, and that’s really paid off.”

And Clark intends to sweat that substantial investment, with the A380s set to still be flying “until the mid ‘30s” as they’re gradually replaced by the next-generation Boeing 777X.

By the end of this decade and the beginning of the next, Emirates' heavy-duty fleet strategy will involve “using the A380s on the trunk routes, barreling through from east to west and north to south... with the 777X gradually slipping in to replace the A380s that eventually retire.”

Additional reporting by Matt Lennon

Another airline failing to punish WA and QLD. Disgusting.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 387

Another airline deciding it wants to do what airlines are supposed to do, you know, fly from A to B and carry passengers and make a profit. Disgusting!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1428

George hard to say how avoiding QLD is punishing it. More EK shooting itself in the foot given QLD record in keeping Covid out builds demand for incoming and outgoing to where people want to come Unlike, say, parts of the US or UK where on and off again lock downs make travel there very uncertain.

You're being sarcastic right? 

International and domestic travel in the UK and US have almost rebounded to prepandemic levels pre-Omicron and is likely to do so again once foreign governments stop the hysteria.

The slow vaccine roll-out, resulting in this ongoing fortress Australia mentality has costed the country hundreds of million in lost tourism and education revenue, not to mention billions from our own lockdowns. We had a leading position in March this year but squandered it all through incompetence. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1428

Budget, I think your analysis depends on your definition of ‘almost’ like Australia domestic travel is heading back, but international travel is well and truly in the doldrums. Who wants to go to a place with out of control cases and no/limited insurance coverage. Qantas is depending on visiting family and relatives, as demonstrated by the destinations being opened. Nothing there about tourism etc. Not sure where the hysteria is, given the out of control cases threatening health systems. Apart from closing the gate after the horse has bolted the current response except for Boris seem sensible.

01 Dec 2012

Total posts 27

Tongue in cheek? I hope so. It’s the Australian Government that is responsible for overseas arrivals policy. The states just administer hotel quarantine and control numbers dictated largely by their leak-proof capacity. In any case, why would Emirates want to “punish” states that have controlled COVID well and had the strongest economic growth and employment (along with Tasmania) during the pandemic, building up latent demand for international travel?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Nov 2011

Total posts 17

Matt do you think the a380 is likely to return to Brisbane once travel returns to pre-pandemic levels or will we be stuck with the inferior business product of the 777?

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 387

I think that's up to Emirates, if they reckon there is enough demand they'll bring back the A380 because it has more seats to fill. If they don't reckon there's enough demand you'll be stuck with the Boeing 777. Business 101 really.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 492

Unless they can set it up with the ongoing leg through to Auckland I doubt the A380 will come back to Brisbane

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 47

It returns to Brisbane 11st July 2022 as per the article 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 492

Sure... I actually commented before the article was updated...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 84

Interesting that the article states the A380 will be eventually by the 777X somewhere around the 2030's. I personally don't think that this aircraft is replaceable and, if we're to go by history that pax numbers increase every decade, larger planes will be needed than the 777. There's only so many landing slots available in a 24 hour day and that aircraft wont do for the major cities.

01 Jul 2011

Total posts 13

'Recommence' DXB-PER-DXB sorry theres an EK flight most days to Perth......plenty more that our so called national airline.


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