DALLAS — The Arab state-owned airline Emirates (EK) flies with its A380 again daily from Dubai (DXB) to Christchurch (CHC), New Zealand, via Sydney (SYD), Australia, after a three-year break. In 2016, Emirates flew to Sidney for the first time, and in 2020 the flights were suspended.
The outgoing EK A380 with flight number EK412 left DXB local time at 10:15 a.m. and landed in CHC the next day with a short stopover in SYD at 1:55 p.m. New Zealand local time.
The special service was greeted by planespotters and aviation fans at the border of CHC, who watched as the iconic plane rolled through a ceremonial water cannon salute before parking at the international terminal in the face of trade, media, and VIP guests.
Christchurch is the smallest city in EK’s A380 network. New Zealand is now the first country on the network to exclusively carry the four-cabin A380. According to the airline, the demand for this route is high, which has already been shown by the ticket presale in particular.
Passengers who want to go even further than just to the Emirates destinations benefit from the long partnership between EK and Qantas (QF) and can thus fly to 55 other destinations around Australia and New Zealand.
Comments of Phil Mauger, Barry Brown
Phil Mauger mayor of Christchurch said, “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.”
Aboard the first flight back to Christchurch, Barry Brown, Divisional Vice President Australasia, Emirates commented, “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.
Brown added, “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.”
Featured image: Emirates A6-EUJ Airbus A380-861. Photo: Kochan Kleps/Airways