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Emirates Celebrates 20 Years of Service in New Zealand


Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, is celebrating its 20th anniversary of service in New Zealand. The airline began its inaugural flights to Auckland on August 2, 2003, with two flights, one via Sydney using a Boeing 777-300ER, and the other via Melbourne using an Airbus A330. Since then, Emirates has continued to grow its presence in New Zealand, carrying over 16 million passengers on 49,000 flights to two destinations in the country: Auckland and Christchurch.

Growing Presence in New Zealand

Emirates began operating flights to Auckland via Brisbane in October 2003, and in July 2004, the airline began operating flights to its second destination in New Zealand, Christchurch, which was connected via Melbourne. Over the past two decades, Emirates has heavily deployed its Airbus A380 to the New Zealand market, using the aircraft type to serve Auckland since 2009 and Christchurch since 2016. Dubai to Auckland remains the longest route, covering 14,000 km, within the airline’s route network.

Image by: Reza Teflissi

Premium Economy on All Services

New Zealand is the only market where Emirates deploys premium economy seats across all its services. Additionally, Emirates offers the only option to fly Trans-Tasman onboard an A380. Barry Brown, Divisional Vice President for Australasia at Emirates, said that as demand continues to grow, they look forward to continuing and growing their services to New Zealand, offering travelers a chance to experience their world-class product, and delivering substantial benefits to the economy through travel connections, cargo, and inbound seats.

Contribution to the Local Economy

Emirates SkyCargo, the airline’s cargo division, is a critical contributor to New Zealand’s local economy and has a significant operational presence in the country. SkyCargo exports products such as meat, fruits, seafood, and medical equipment from New Zealand. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when several other international airlines had suspended operations, Emirates continued its cargo services to New Zealand, operating Boeing 777-300ER flights to Auckland via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. During the pandemic, Emirates carried almost 17,700 tonnes of vaccines and essential medical equipment into New Zealand.

Emirates’ Service Today

Today, Emirates operates one daily service each to Auckland and Christchurch (via Sydney), using the Airbus A380 equipped with the carrier’s premium economy seats. Flight EK-448 is a direct flight to Auckland, which departs at 10:25 from Dubai International Airport (DXB) and arrives a day later at 09:50 in Auckland Airport (AKL), with a flight time of 15 hours and 50 minutes. The return service EK-449 departs at 20:30 from AKL and lands back in DXB at 05:35 the next day after a flight time of 17 hours and 5 minutes. Flight EK-412 is one of the three daily flights to Sydney Airport (SYD), which then continues to Christchurch International Airport (CHC).

Image by: Christoph Plank

Emirates’ 20th anniversary of service in New Zealand is a significant milestone for the airline. Over the past two decades, the airline has grown its presence in the country and played a critical role in connecting New Zealand to the rest of the world, both through passenger and cargo services. Emirates’ commitment to New Zealand is unwavering, and the airline looks forward to continuing to grow its services in the country.

Have you ever flown with Emirates to New Zealand? Share your experience with us!

Also, you might be interested in reading: Airlines of the World; “Fly Emirates, Fly Better” Emirates Airline

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