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Qantas A330s replace Emirates A380s on Tasman

June 7, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

From next month, a number of travellers who anticipated heading from Sydney to Auckland aboard Emirates’ giant A380s will find themselves instead flying on rather smaller Qantas A330s – or even on very-much-smaller Qantas B737s.

Emirates is pulling its A380s off the route. Qantas will introduce twice-daily A330 flights on the Sydney-Auckland route, as part of operational changes to the joint Qantas-Emirates network across the Tasman. The Saturday evening Qantas SYD-AKL and Sunday morning AKL-SYD services, however, will be operated not with A330s but with B737s.

From 13 July 2017, Emirates will suspend its daily EK418 and EK419 A380 flights between Sydney and Auckland, with those flights replaced by the Qantas A330 services. Qantas will also upgauge some existing B737 flights to A330 where demand exists. The result will be more frequent flights on smaller planes rather than fewer flights on larger planes.

The revised schedule will ensure the airlines “have the right amount of capacity in the market to meet customer needs”, according to a Qantas media statement.

The new Qantas services are timed to offer speedy connections for New Zealanders travelling via Sydney to destinations in Asia, the United States and South Africa. With the new A330 service, there will also be a higher overall frequency of Qantas flights on the route, suiting the trans-Tasman business market.

The changes mean Qantas’ upgraded, two-class wide-body A330-200 aircraft – including a 28-seat Business cabin which Qantas says is nicknamed “mini First Class” by frequent flyers – will operate as regular services on the trans-Tasman flights for the first time.

Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said the Qantas-Emirates partnership gave flexibility by utilising the combined fleets of both carriers.

“These schedule changes also mean customers travelling to and from New Zealand have more convenient options to connect with the broader Qantas and Emirates network, especially into Asia. We know how important that connectivity is in driving tourism and trade for the New Zealand economy.”

Emirates’ divisional vice president for Australasia, Barry Brown, said the Tasman was a dynamic market “and we saw the need to optimise capacity on this route in line with changes in demand.

“Our partner Qantas was well positioned to service this route based on current demand and we’re pleased to have the flexibility to work with them to offer a service with an aircraft that is more in line with capacity needs.

“In addition to these Tasman services, we’re pleased to continue offering Qantas passengers access to a seamless travel experience via Dubai to destinations across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa through our codeshare partnership.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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