Emirates will start its first non-stop service from Dubai to Auckland on 1st March 2016, bringing Dublin and many of its 38 European destinations within just one-stop range of New Zealand through direct connections in Dubai.
The new service will be in addition to the airline’s existing flights, meaning that Emirates will then have five services daily into New Zealand – three A380 double-decker services to Auckland via Australia, a daily Christchurch service with a Boeing 777-300ER, and the new non-stop service operated with a Boeing 777-200LR.
The new service will bring an estimated flight time of just under 16 hours from Dubai to New Zealand and 17 hours, 15 minutes in the other direction, cutting journey times by almost three hours each way.
“Having just one stop on the long haul to New Zealand will make the journey quicker and more comfortable,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. “This will be a boon to many business people, tourists, expatriate New Zealanders and other travellers in Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East.
“Tourists, in particular, will now have more options – travelling to Auckland with a stopover in Australia on one of our three daily A380s, flying non-stop direct into Auckland, or flying to the South Island on our daily Christchurch service. New Zealand currently hosts about three million tourists a year and we want to do our part to cater for that flow and grow that figure above current expectations.
“Operating a non-stop service between Dubai and Auckland has been in our sights for some time, dependent on availability of suitable aircraft as we rapidly expand our global network of destinations, and frequency of flights and capacity on existing routes. We are particularly delighted that we can now bring this exciting plan to fruition.”
The Boeing 777-200LR aircraft that will operate the new, non-stop route are purpose-built for ultra-longhaul flights, carrying up to 266 passengers. Like Emirates’ other New Zealand flights, the aircraft will offer three cabin classes: eight First Class suites, 42 lie-flat Business Class seats, and 216 comfortable Economy Class seats.
Operating eastbound as flight EK 448, the service will depart Dubai at 10.05 and arrive in Auckland the following day at 11.00 (local summer time). On arrival in Auckland, passengers will be able to connect to a number of other points on codeshare partner Jetstar’s domestic flights.
Operating westbound as flight EK 449, the non-stop service will depart Auckland each night (local summer time) at 21.30, arriving in Dubai the following morning at 05.45 am.
Travellers currently booked on existing services to Dubai and beyond will be able to switch to the new service without additional fees (subject to seat availability).