Emirates to restart Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane flights next week

Emirates makes an early return to Australia's three largest cities.

By Chris C., January 21 2021
Emirates to restart Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane flights next week
Executive Traveller exclusive

Emirates says it will resume passenger flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane next week, despite the number of arriving passengers permitted in those cities being slashed by 50%.

The Gulf carrier and Qantas partner announced on January 15 that it was suspending flights to those cities "until further notice", following the temporary reduction in the weekly arrivals cap beginning on that date, and its schedule showed no return for those flights until the start of April.

However, a spokesperson for Emirates tells Executive Traveller that flights to Sydney will now restart from January 25, with Melbourne from January 26 and Brisbane from January 28.

"We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers in the period where we had to temporarily suspend our services," the spokesperson said.

Emirates blamed "the dynamic restrictions and requirements implemented by the different state authorities in Australia" for its earlier decision to suspend flights, saying "the pandemic has made international flying incredibly challenging."

Australia's strict quarantine rules "added complexity and burden to our operations" resulting in "an added burden for our crew as individuals, for our rostering, and operating costs, and therefore this decision was made after careful review and consideration."

"This led us to temporarily suspend passenger services while we engaged with various stakeholders regarding crew protocols and other operational details."

"Following this engagement, we’ve made the decision to resume services with adjustments to our operations, so that we can continue serving our customers."

Under the current limits on inbound travellers, Emirates will be allowed to fill only a few dozen of the 360 seats on its Boeing 777-300ER jets.

The Emirates spokesperson tells Executive Traveller that "in most cases a large portion of our seats are allocated to economy class travellers with the remainder allocated to first and business class travellers."

"This proportion varies for each flight and depends on several factors including connectivity beyond Dubai and size of groups travelling together."

As many as 40,000 Australians remain stranded overseas almost a year after the pandemic began.

As previously reported, the federal government is now working with Qantas to run 20 special repatriation flights across February and March to "bring people back from the United Kingdom, Europe, India and other places where vulnerable Australians are most in need of assistance."

Read more: Qantas to mount 20 international coronavirus rescue flights

PREVIOUS [January 19, 2021] Emirates expects to resume passenger flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in April, after last week dramatically pausing these services “until further notice” – but snaring a seat on those flights will prove very expensive.

From early April Emirates is selling only its eight first class suites on its Boeing 777-300ER jets, at prices starting at around AED22,000 (A$7,770) per person – so a family of four Australians trying to get home will be up for just over $31,000.

Across mid-to-late April, seats in the Boeing 777's business class cabin become available on selected Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane flights – at prices ranging from $5,600 to $6,900.

Emirates has blocked economy seats from sale until May: but even then, fares remain high across the board.

In the first week of May, a one-way flight from Dubai to Brisbane costs around $7,780 in first class, $5,740 in business class and $2,380 in economy class:

Emirates continues flying to Perth during its east coast shutdown, but those flights also show many cases where only first class or business class is available.

Australia's ongoing cap on arriving passengers sets a limit of around 7,500 arrivals per week; this in turn restricts airlines to carrying as little as 30-50 passengers on aircraft intended for 250-350 people.

Between now and April, Emirates will continue flying its planes to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane but will carry only cargo on both the inbound and outbound flights.

Once passenger services resume in April, travellers will be able to fly on the following days, subject to relevant passenger caps and other travel restrictions:

  • Dubai-Sydney (EK414): Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays
  • Sydney-Dubai (EK415): Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays
  • Dubai-Melbourne (EK408): Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
  • Melbourne-Dubai (EK409): Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays
  • Dubai-Brisbane (EK430): Thursdays, Saturdays
  • Brisbane-Dubai (EK431): Sundays, Fridays

Also read: Widespread international travel unlikely for Australians in 2021


Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.


09 May 2020

Total posts 561

You should actually see how much it cost to fly out of BNE-DXB via F or J class in in first week of May....

Maybe people will realise it’s not as bad paying to come back compared to what EK is trying to charge to recuperate the cost of outgoing flight in absence of decent pax traffic 

24 Dec 2013

Total posts 97

Was last week's cancellations Emirates way of purging all economy class tickets from all of its future flights? 


16 May 2016

Total posts 64

Meanwhile the government cuts commercial inbound capacity by 50%, but then charters 20 Qantas flights. Seems logical. 

The government has cut capacity by 50% only for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, whereas most of these Qantas flights will probably use Howard Springs in the NT for quarantine, and those three cities with the capacity cut are supposed to go back up to previous levels on February 15.


22 Jan 2021

Total posts 2

Are you sure EK resumes to Eastern Australia next week , you need to be reliable in your reporting. People are depending on accurate reporting, first you said not until April and now its next week. No other source substantiated your original article. You're baseless reporting is just adding more stress to a very stressful situation. Its irresponsible .

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2559

Hi ffm: may I take it from your reference to a "stressful situation" that you are one of the Aussies stranded overseas, or have friends or family in that situation? If so, I'm really sorry to hear that.

Our reporting on Emirates' movements on this issue is intended to keep readers informed. That's why we were the first to report Emirates' decision to suspend flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (once we had confirmation of this from the airline, which some other outlets didn't both to do), and our update this morning is again based on confirmation from Emirates, as you can see by the quotes from an airline spokesperson.

The 'in-between' status of flights being suspended until April was also accurate, as it was reflected information in the airline's own booking system as available on its website and to travel agents. As you'll note from this morning's article, Emirates has now brought forward that restart date based on discussions with "stakeholders" and working to find a solution.


22 Jan 2021

Total posts 2

So you’re inbetweener article was based on a hunch looking at the airline booking system - not on any statement from the Airline .  As a result of your guess reporting people changed flights . You need to be very careful . 

It’s a relief that Emirates have made an official statement today about resumption of flights . 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2559

This wasn't a 'hunch' or 'guessing', the article was based on an update made by Emirates to the booking system used by all travel agents, which is also the one presented on Emirates' website when you search for a flight. It was factual coverage of what we can all see is a changing situation - at the start of this week, even Emirates itself was not able to commit to returning to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane until early April, which was reflected in its own booking system. Thankfully that's now changed, and we're reporting that to keep readers informed.

28 May 2020

Total posts 3

Just trying to read fares for Emirates flights to Sydney. There are fare amounts but I can't see any indication of what currency it is. Would help if the currency name is always included. Thanks.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2453

Hi scorecard, as an Australian publication, the default currency in articles here is Australian dollars (AUD). We've also listed some fare information in AED (which is also reflected in the screenshot from Emirates' website), being the local currency of the United Arab Emirates in which Dubai is located. However, as always, you'll find the most up-to-date fares on any given flight when attempting to make a booking yourself, as airlines don't charge a fixed-price for a ticket, so any pricing included here is as a guide only.

23 Jan 2021

Total posts 1

At least they will be selling Y class tickets  SYD-DXB from Tuesday.

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