Emirates Cancels Sydney-Auckland A380 Flights

Emirates will stop flying from Sydney to Auckland next month. Emirates currently flies a daily A380 on the route, while its partner Qantas operates 5x daily Boeing 737 flights. In Emirates’ absence, Qantas will up-gauge two of its daily flights to a wide body Airbus A330.

EK418 and EK419 will continue to operate from Dubai to Sydney via Bangkok, but will now terminate in Sydney instead of continuing to Auckland. Emirates’ other three daily A380 routes between Australia and New Zealand – Sydney-Christchurch, Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland – remain unaffected.

Our members are disappointed to see the popular A380 service being withdrawn. Emirates is the only airline to offer First class – complete with private suites and showers – as well as an on-board bar on the Sydney-Auckland route. For this reason, many savvy travellers have specifically booked to fly on this aircraft. But the new Qantas A330 flights, offered in the morning and evening in both directions, do somewhat make up for the loss of this service.

I have mixed feelings.

Miss the A380, no bar. A330 Y pretty good. Appealing to upgrade to J for special occasions. Twice daily is good.

The changes are good news for Business class passengers flying Qantas to New Zealand. Qantas’ 737s have a Business class cabin featuring 12 recliner seats. By comparison, the A330 has 28 Business class suites with lie-flat beds.

I think this is good news for QF flyers across the Tasman. The 737 product just doesn’t cut it for J, although the flights are short so it isn’t too big a deal. But half of my pretty frequent trips across or back have been on LATAM or EK this year. The QF A330 stacks up well against this.

Passengers that were booked on the cancelled Emirates service are being re-booked on Qantas flights. But as Qantas does not operate First class on the route, First passengers may either re-route for free via Melbourne or Brisbane or request a full refund.

A number of members have taken Emirates’ Sydney-Auckland flight recently and have noticed how empty the flights have been. So, it’s not entirely surprising that Emirates is withdrawing from the route.

Definitely wasn’t [full] on Monday this week. 2 pax in F, 9 of us in J, and a FA told me only about 70-80 in Y.

Emirates’ trans-Tasman flights have also traditionally carried passengers connecting through from New Zealand to Dubai. But Emirates recently began operating a non-stop A380 flight from Auckland to Dubai.

Emirates’ final A380 flight from Sydney to Auckland will depart on 12 July, with Qantas’ first A330 service operating on 13 July. Qantas will also be running a number of Boeing 747 flights between Sydney and Auckland in the next month, on 23 June and from 9-12 July. On these flights, Premium Economy will be sold as Economy with these seats being made available to top-tier frequent flyers.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]