Emirates Cancels Most Trans-Tasman Flights

Emirates’ trans-Tasman A380 flights have been hugely popular with travellers. Until recently, Emirates offered four daily A380 flights across the Tasman to New Zealand. But soon, this will be decreased to just one daily flight between Sydney and Christchurch.

Emirates withdrew from the Sydney-Auckland route in July this year. To cover Emirates’ absence, Qantas upgraded two daily Sydney-Auckland flights to wide-body A330 aircraft. Now, Emirates has announced that it will also cease Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland flights from 25 March 2018.

Once again, Qantas will be adding some new Trans-Tasman flights and upgrading others to Airbus A330s. A new daily Melbourne-Auckland A330 flight will operate from 25 March next year. In some good news for Melbourne flyers, Qantas’ nightly Melbourne-Auckland redeye flight (QF151) will also be upgraded to an A330 with lie-flat beds in Business class.

Brisbane-based flyers will benefit from two new weekly Boeing 737 flights, and one existing daily flight will be up-gauged to an Airbus A330. But the Brisbane-Auckland route will see an overall reduction in capacity of 1,854 return seats every week.

While our members are happy to see some new Qantas A330 flights across the Tasman, they will miss the option to fly Emirates. Business class flyers will also lose access to Emirates’ popular A380 bar.

Thumbs up from me if it means QF replacing the B738 with A330 from MEL-AKL , would also be nice to see QF A330 on MEL-WLG too…

This sucks. The A380 flights had become my regular choice for regular TT travel. So much nicer in economy than a Qantas 737 – there was no competition. The A330 isn’t much better in Y – although does give the option to upgrade to business using my QFF points.

The loss of Emirates flights also means a loss of First class between Australia and Auckland. Emirates’ trans-Tasman First class has become a popular and relatively affordable way to sample international First class.

I’m sad to see the BNE-AKL option gone. I just flew this as a bucket list tick last week from AKL to BNE and soaked up all the F experience I could!

It was my first and probably only F class experience (I have had quite a few J class over the last 8 years) and it was awesome!

Emirates last year launched non-stop Auckland-Dubai services for the first time. It is quite possible that these new services have cannibalised the existing one-stop services via Australia.

Makes sense, the life of these flights was surely limited from the time EK started AKL-DXB non-stop, noting CHC flight preserved in the absence of a non-stop to DXB.

Emirates will still fly from Sydney to Christchurch, at least for now. However, Emirates has hinted that it is considering direct Dubai-Christchurch flights in the future. This would potentially lead to the demise of Emirates’ last trans-Tasman sector.

Join the discussion HERE.


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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]