Emirates boosts capacity to Australia, replaces 777 with A380 on EK416 and EK417

Emirates (IATA: EK) will move to a triple-daily A380 service on the Sydney-Dubai route from late next month, and has also confirmed expectations it will relaunch Adelaide non-stops in mid-2024.

With all three of Emirates’ slots already in use at Sydney airport, the airline is able to commit nearly 2,000 extra weekly seats with the upgrade to its double-decker aircraft on its third daily flight, starting 4 November 2023.

Emirates VP Australasia, Barry Brown, told The Australian the airline is responding to huge demand, saying “we’re seeing bookings pouring in for Oct and Nov, and also for next year”.

Upgrading the third EK SYD daily service from a 777 to an A380 will maintain the premium economy offering on all Sydney flights, as well as the popular in-flight bar in business class as well as first class shower suites.

On Adelaide, Emirates said in a statement that, “The introduction of the Emirates Airbus A350 in the winter of 2024 will facilitate further expansion of the airline’s global network by allowing its fleet to grow and freeing up more of Emirates’ long-range aircraft to serve points like Adelaide.

“The airline is in close discussions with Adelaide Airport to recommence nonstop services as part of its commitment to reconnect travellers from every corner of Australia to its network.”

Brown added that Adelaide would likely have a daily EK A350 service from the middle of next year, fulfilling a promise to Tourism Minister Don Farrell that Emirates would restart flights to the SA capital as soon as a suitable aircraft was available.

Brown noted the planned all-A380 Sydney operation was complemented by daily A380s into Perth and Brisbane, as well as double-daily EK superjumbo services into Melbourne.

He said the complex landscape meant it was unlikely the extra capacity would immediately impact fares, with higher prices across the aviation supply chain.

“In spite of these challenges, we’re committed to strengthening our schedules as much as we can, and offering the essential connectivity that Australian travellers have come to know and expect of us,” Brown said.

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