Queenslanders will soon have an additional non-stop flight to the Middle East and beyond, with Gulf carrier Emirates given the green light to add a second daily departure between Brisbane and Dubai from June 1.
Complementing the airline’s existing daily Airbus A380, the new three-cabin Boeing 777 connection will see the Qantas partner bounce back to pre-pandemic levels from the Queensland capital.
Unlike the roomier 1-2-1 configuration of the A380 though, the 777 variant on this route features a 2-3-2 layout in business class, meaning those seated in the middle will inevitably have to step past a fellow passenger whenever they need to get up.
From Brisbane, EK431 will see wheels up at a rather bleary-eyed 2:50am, touching down into Dubai at 11am. Its late morning arrival is well timed for onward connections to Europe, including the EK3 to London Heathrow at 2:30pm.
On the return, EK430 jets off from the desert metropolis at an equally-early 2:30am, landing in Brisbane at 10:20pm.
Those who don’t fancy the early morning departure will still have the option of A380 flight EK435, which jets off from Brisbane at a more civilised 9pm, landing into Dubai at 5:10am. And in the other direction, there’s EK 434 at 10:35am, which arrives in sunny Queensland at 6:50am.
Of course, another added benefit of the A380 is that glam upper deck bar, where guests can mix and mingle mid flight over a Breakfast Martini or two.
In November last year, Emirates began an ambitious US$2 billion retrofit of its A380s and 777s. Once complete in 2025, nearly half of its fleet – an impressive 120 aircraft – will feature the new premium economy, in addition to an enhanced first and business class.
The first retrofitted A380, the aforementioned EK3 to London, has already taken to the sky.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, says “Customers will notice the difference the moment they step onboard – the spacious A380 will look and feel even more impressive and comfortable.”
In addition to the upgrade, Emirates has signalled plans to bring back all of its Airbus A380 double-deckers by December 2023, replenishing its fleet after years of reduced capacity.