Emirates to bring Airbus A380 back to Australian skies

Expect to see those superjumbos – and maybe Emirates’ new premium economy class – in 2022.

By David Flynn, October 4 2021
Emirates to bring Airbus A380 back to Australian skies

Superjumbo stalwart Emirates says it will rebuild its flights to Australia following the country's restart of international travel, with the Airbus A380s ;– and their private first class suites, inflight showers and signature cocktail bar – also making a return.

The Gulf carrier's forward schedule for 2022 already show the superjumbo pencilled in for Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with a Boeing 777 slated for Brisbane.

Also bouncing back is the Sydney-Christchurch leg of EK412/EK413 – news that will cheer the savvy frequent flyers who enjoy making that three-hour trip across the pond as an indulgent jolly in Emirates' A380 business class or even first class.

Emirates is eager to bring its Airbus A380s back to Australia.
Emirates is eager to bring its Airbus A380s back to Australia.

"As borders re-open, we look forward to restoring our Australian flight schedules including our popular A380 services, and to welcoming customers to experience our best-in-class partnership for many more years to come," Emirates President Sir Tim Clark said today, after signing an agreement with Qantas to extend the airlines' partnership for a further five years, to 2028.

Emirates President Sir Tim Clark has inked an extension to the Qantas-Emirates partnership.
Emirates President Sir Tim Clark has inked an extension to the Qantas-Emirates partnership.

As Emirates' flagship, the Airbus A380 is well suited to the marathon between Australia and its Dubai hub – flights which can take 11-14 hours, and that's before any connection to Emirates' services to the UK, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Emirates' Airbus A380 first class suite.
Emirates' Airbus A380 first class suite.

Although the airline's two-class 615-seat superjumbo is earmarked for routes where there's markedly less demand for a premium experience, Australia will continue to see its 'classic' three-class A380s with 14 first class suites (and two private showers) and 76 flat-bed business class seats.

Emirates' Airbus A380 business class seat.
Emirates' Airbus A380 business class seat.

There's no indication if Sydney, Melbourne or Perth might be upgraded to the newer four-class A380s which sport Emirates' all-new premium economy 'sleeperette' seats.

Emirates' Airbus A380 premium economy.
Emirates' Airbus A380 premium economy.

Every Emirates A380 also features that iconic cocktail bar towards the rear of the upper deck, either in its original 2008 form...

The original Emirates A380 inflight bar, circa 2008.
The original Emirates A380 inflight bar, circa 2008.

... or the classier 2017 edition, which the airline says was "inspired by private yacht cabins."

Emirates' glammed-up second-gen A380 inflight bar.
Emirates' glammed-up second-gen A380 inflight bar.

That includes a cleaner, sleeker design, with a lighter colour palette of ivory and (appropriately) champagne accented by bronze and woodgrain.

The seating has also been revamped to include cafe-style tables with a window view, while other areas have been opened up to make mingling easier.

The revamped bar gained extra seating to become more of a social lounge.
The revamped bar gained extra seating to become more of a social lounge.

Interestingly, airline chief Clark wasn't sure the bar would be a success when the A380 was first introduced into the Emirates fleet – so he hedged his bets by planning ahead for the bar's removal, in case the space didn’t prove popular enough with passengers.

"I designed the bar at the back of the aircraft on the upper deck, on the understanding that if it didn't work, we could remove it in 96 hours and put eight more business class seats in," Clark told Executive Traveller in 2019.

This is why Emirates’ oldest A380s have those telltale overhead lockers in the bar area – they remained fitted to make that transition quick and easy if the bar were to be ripped out.

In Emirates' earliest A380, the overhead luggage lockers were left in place in case the bar was a flop.
In Emirates' earliest A380, the overhead luggage lockers were left in place in case the bar was a flop.

Of course, once Emirates saw of the bar’s success, future A380s were delivered without those lockers, creating a more open environment and with more room for standing passengers.

Emirates this year marked 25 years of flying to Australia: a journey which began in 1996 with three flights a week between Dubai and Melbourne, and peaked at over 100 weekly flights to Australia before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also read: Why Emirates doesn't plan to retire its A380s until the "mid-2030s"

David

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.

So one can then assume points expiry should get bumped again into 2022? Currently they expire Dec 31 2021

25 Jun 2021

Total posts 19

Booked mine some months ago. EK17 Brisbane to Manchester 1st 777-300ER was the A380 so they may change back. EK17 1st A380 to Manchester, coming back 1st A380 to Singapore via Dubai, could not get 1st back to BNE from Dubai, so might be QANTAS from there back. 

04 Dec 2017

Total posts 71

Now we're talking. Way to go Emirates.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 74

Excellent news 

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 22

Will there still be Melbourne to Singapore flights scheduled!

Mike

12 Aug 2019

Total posts 10

Just curious (never having flown Emirates), is the bar open for First, Business or all classes?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2545

First and business only.

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 9

When exactly? November to Sydney, December to Melbourne or is it just from 1st January 2022?

I think we could get the 2x daily A380 for both Sydney and Melbourne. 

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 9

They should bring them back on 1st December 2021 to Melbourne and Sydney. 


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