Emirates, the world’s fastest growing airline, continued its commitment to both Australia and New Zealand on Monday with the start of its daily Airbus A380 non-stop service to Melbourne and on to Auckland.
The A380, operating as EK406, one of the three daily Emirates flights to Melbourne, departs Dubai at 1010hrs (local time) and arrives in Melbourne at 0535hrs the following day. The flight continues to Auckland, departing Melbourne at 0710hrs and arriving in Auckland at 1345hrs. The return flight, EK407, departs Auckland at 1850hrs, arriving in Melbourne at 1950hrs, before leaving for Dubai at 2125hrs arriving at 0525hrs the next day.
On board the inaugural flight was Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Far East & Australasia; John Butler - Commissioner to the Middle East and North Africa, Government of Victoria; and the Emirates Melbourne Cup, accompanied by the 1999 Cup winning jockey John Marshall.
“Today is an important day in the history of Emirates and Australia. In 1996, Melbourne became our first destination in Australasia and it is fantastic that we can celebrate our long-term partnership with Victoria with the launch of our daily, non-stop Airbus A380 services. The introduction of the A380 increases Melbourne’s capacity on the Dubai and Auckland sectors by more than 500 seats per day - which will further stimulate tourism and trade between the UAE, our global network, Australia and New Zealand,” said Mr Obaidalla.
“The A380 is an exceptional aircraft and has been in the pipeline for the Melbourne market for a few years. Today’s launch kick starts an exciting period of growth in our Australian business, from 1st November we launch non-stop flights to Adelaide and from 1st December introduce a third daily flight to Perth,” said Mr Obaidalla.
“Emirates A380 services to Melbourne and Auckland are a key component to the Global Aviation Partnership announced with Qantas in September. Pending regulatory approval, from April 2013 Melbourne travellers will experience seamless connectivity across the Emirates and Qantas networks, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and the choice of four daily services to Dubai - two of which will be non-stop A380 services - connecting to over 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,’ said Mr Obaidalla.
“It is also in New Zealand that we are continuing our investment and growth, with our latest A380 service continuing on to Auckland and arriving just moments before our daily A380 service from Sydney, which we began operating in February 2009. This second daily A380 service gives our passengers double the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful aircraft; which includes Private Suites and Shower Spas in First Class, flat-bed seats, all with aisle access, in Business Class and generous seating on the main deck in Economy Class,” added Mr Obaidalla.
Passengers in all classes can enjoy Emirates’ award-winning ‘ice’ Digital Widescreen, the industry’s most sophisticated video and audio system, offering 1,400 channels of on-demand entertainment - the largest selection of programming in the sky.
Emirates currently has 25 A380s in service which now fly to Amsterdam, Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Melbourne, Manchester, Munich, New York JFK, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto, Tokyo from its Dubai Hub. Additional A380 destinations that are set to launch this year include Singapore and Moscow (both from 1 December 2012).