By the middle of this year, Emirates will have restored Australian capacity to 100% of pre-pandemic levels.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in flight
Photo: Emirates

Never one to hesitate when an opportunity arises, Dubai-based Emirates is increasing services to Sydney and Melbourne, restoring flights on those routes to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of this year. The airline is also restarting services to Christchurch via Sydney, adding more options for Australians on the popular trans-Tasman route to New Zealand’s South Island.

In a significant vote of confidence in the strength of the Australian market, Emirates will be operating 63 weekly services to Australia by mid-year. These flights will mean that 55,000 passengers per week can travel to and from Australia’s main cities, opening up valuable tourism, business and visiting friends and family markets between the Middle East, Asia and Australasia.

Triple daily services to Melbourne and Sydney

Emirates Boeing 777

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Melbourne Airport (MEL) will add a third daily service between Dubai via Singapore (SIN) from March 26th, while Sydney Airport (SYD) will add a third direct service from May 1st. The two new services announced today will operate on three-class Boeing 777-300ERs, offering the choice of economy, business and first class seats. The aircraft will also add around 22 tonnes of extra freight capacity, allowing exporters to get their products to markets in Asia and the Middle East more efficiently.

Today’s announcement on more flights to Sydney and Melbourne comes on top of Emirates announcing it will double daily services to Brisbane, starting from June 1st. The third Dubai-Melbourne service is adding more connectivity between Singapore and Melbourne, while the Christchurch via Sydney service, commencing on March 26th, will be the only opportunity for passengers on the route to fly on an Emirates A380. Emirates also operates the Airbus A380 on a daily service to Perth (PER).

Since starting flights to Australia in 1996, Emirates has carried more than 40 million passengers and continued operating during the pandemic, keeping open much-needed routes for repatriating Australians and maintaining exports. Divisional VP Australasia Barry Brown said the airline is recording significant demand for services and is dedicated to offering Australians and travelers more options, including the new Premium Economy cabin. He added:

“Adding a third daily service to Sydney and Melbourne will offer over 500,000 additional seats to and from Australia in a year. To have the two cities operating back at pre-pandemic frequencies is a phenomenal milestone in our restoration of Australia capacity and testament to our longstanding commitment to flying down under.”

As well as giving passengers more options and the benefits of connecting through Emirates’ extensive global network, Melbourne and Sydney Airports are also delighted with the extra capacity. Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus said, “It’s great news for customers as it provides extra capacity for the strong demand we are seeing for travel from Melbourne to Europe and Asia.”

The A380 across the Tasman is back

Emirates Airbus A380

Photo: Emirates

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert echoed those thoughts, indicating he has a soft spot for the A380, an aircraft much loved by Australians.

“These extra flights are another important step towards Australia’s international aviation recovery. We are also pleased to see the A380 return on the trans-Tasman after a three-year hiatus, adding extra seats to meet the strong appetite for travel between Sydney and New Zealand.”

The flight details

Emirates Airbus A380

Photo: Michael Derrer Fuchs | Shutterstock

  • Emirates EK416 will depart Dubai at 21:30 and arrive in Sydney the following day at 17:20. The 777-300ER will return as EK417 leaving Sydney at 20:10 and arriving in Dubai at 04:30. Emirates currently operate double daily A380 flights, both offering the new Premium Economy cabin.
  • Emirates EK404 departs Dubai at 21:15, arriving in Singapore at 08:50 and continuing to Melbourne at 10:25, arriving at 20:35. EK405 leaves Melbourne at 03:25, arrives in Singapore at 08:15 and departs again at 09:40. It returns to Dubai at 13:00.
  • Emirates EK412 takes off from Dubai at 10:15 and arrives in Sydney at 07:00 before continuing to Christchurch at 08:45 and landing at 13:50. EK413 departs Christchurch at 18:20, arriving in Sydney at 19:40 and leaving for Dubai at 21:45, reaching the UAE at 05:15.

Emirates is getting ahead of the curve and stamping its presence in the Australian market at a time when airfares are becoming out of reach for many travelers. Adding this extra capacity may be the catalyst that starts to see fares dropping, particularly on long-haul routes to Europe and Asia.

What do you think of this bold move by Emirates? Let us know in the comments.

  • Emirates, Airbus A380, Penultimate


    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Dubai International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

    United Arab Emirates


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