After more than three years, Emirates’ flagship A380 made a historic landing at Christchurch Airport today, signalling the resumption of its daily service from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney.
The special service was greeted by a crowd of onlookers at the Christchurch Airport boundary, who observed as the iconic aircraft taxied through a ceremonial water canon salute before parking in front of trade, media, and VIP guests at the international terminal.
The outbound EK412 departed Dubai at 10:15 local time, made a brief stop in Sydney, and landed in Christchurch at 13:55 the following day, New Zealand time.
Barry Brown, Divisional Vice President Australasia for Emirates, said on the first flight back to Christchurch, “Seeing the water cannon salute after we touched down in the first Emirates A380 flight in more than three years is a reminder of how special the aircraft is to Christchurch, since its first arrival in 2016. The significance of the occasion was also clear on the faces of the other passengers on board, who understood what this service means for Christchurch and connecting it to the world. He added that not only is Christchurch once again the smallest city on Emirates’ A380 network, but New Zealand is also the first country on our network to exclusively carry the airlines four-cabin A380 and Emirate’s best product to date. From the moment tickets went on sale, both in and out of Christchurch, there has been a phenomenal demand for the city.”
Phil Mauger, mayor of Christchurch, stated: “The return of the Emirates A380 service is a great boost for Christchurch and the wider South Island. It shows we’re open for business and welcoming travellers after several years of Covid restrictions. I wish the passengers and crew a warm welcome, and I hope the resumed service is a real success for Emirates.”
The chief executive officer of Christchurch Airport, Justin Watson, stated, “The return of the Emirates A380 aircraft is a significant moment for Christchurch and the South Island. Resuming the daily service offers South Islanders access from Christchurch Airport to dozens of the world’s most famous cities in the famous Emirates style. After the A380’s inaugural arrival in October 2016, people came to the airport every day to admire and photograph the aircraft. The global pandemic paused the service, but today, we welcome the aircraft back, knowing many excited Cantabrians are here to remind the crew and passengers how warm the South Island welcome is.”
Since the beginning of its fiscal year, Emirates has increased operations by 31% (total ASKMs), resulting in a planned increase in seating capacity across its global network. The Dubai-Christchurch route is the flagship of this expansion. In December of last year, Emirates reinstated its nonstop A380 service between Auckland and Dubai.
Emirates’ A380’s return to Christchurch is also good news for South Island producers, as SkyCargo will once again facilitate the trans-Tasman export of 15 to 18 tonnes of daily goods. The airfreight will provide much-needed airfreight from a variety of exporters, such as Central Otago cherries, prime New Zealand lamb, and premium seafood, as they continue to international destinations.
Customers from both the North and South Islands will now have direct access to daily Emirates A380 services, providing greater flexibility and choice when making travel arrangements, as well as seamless connectivity and reduced transit time when travelling to other destinations on the airline’s global network, including European and Middle Eastern cities. Through Emirates’ long-standing partnership with Qantas, passengers who wish to travel beyond the airline’s hubs will have additional connection options to 55 cities in Australia and New Zealand.
Resumption of Christchurch through Sydney
The flight number for the A380 is EK 412 and EK 413. Flight EK 412 from Emirates departs Dubai at 10:15 and arrives in Sydney at 07:00. The flight will continue, departing Sydney at 08:45 and landing in Christchurch at 13:55. Then, EK 413 will depart Christchurch at 18:20 and arrive in Sydney at 20:40. The final leg of flight EK 413 will depart for Dubai at 21:45 local time and arrive at 05:15 local time.
Customers in Christchurch will not only be able to enjoy the airline’s flagship aircraft, but they will also be able to witness the debut of the highly coveted Premium Economy cabin and the newest products in every travel class.
Emirates has been flying to New Zealand for twenty years, demonstrating its dedication to the market. Throughout the pandemic, Emirates continued to serve the country through its daily flights connecting New Zealand to the rest of the world and its SkyCargo services transporting essential goods into and out of the country.
The Emirates A380 experience continues to be in high demand among travellers. Customers travelling to and from Christchurch can anticipate spacious and comfortable cabins, signature products that offer the best experiences in the sky, such as the Onboard Lounge, First Class suites, and Shower Spa, and an award-winning inflight entertainment system with more than 5,000 channels of on-demand entertainment. Currently, Emirates’ A380 serves nearly 40 global destinations, with additional routes to be announced soon.
Tickets are available for purchase via emirates.com, the Emirates app, and both online and offline travel agents