Emirates has announced the return of its flagship A380 to the skies of Christchurch from 26 March 2023, further boosting capacity for travellers looking to flying First Class, Business Class or Premium Economy with Emirates to the UK and Europe. The service will be via Sydney which, although it's not as appealing as a direct service to Dubai, provides an alternative for clients who prefer to avoid transiting Auckland Airport.
In its announcement Emirates explains:
Emirates flight EK412 departs Dubai at 1015hrs, arriving in Sydney at 0700hrs. The flight will then continue, taking off from Sydney at 0845hrs, arriving in Christchurch at 1350hrs. EK413 will then depart Christchurch at 1820hrs, arriving in Sydney at 1940hrs. The final leg of EK413 will depart to Dubai at 2145hrs, arriving at 0515hrs local time. Customers in Christchurch will not only be able to enjoy the airline’s flagship aircraft, but will also have double the opportunity to experience the debut of the highly sought-after Premium Economy cabin and latest products across every class of travel.
Reference to the new Emirates Premium Economy seats is encouraging as it means that the A380 will be one of the retrofitted aircraft.
As Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline shared recently:
The fully refreshed A380 features Emirates’ latest products and interiors across all cabins, including 56 Premium Economy class seats on the main deck, and new colour palettes evident in the carpeting and wall panels. On the upper deck, First and Business Class seats sport Emirates’ latest cream-coloured leather upholstery and lighter-toned wood finishing, similar to the airline’s ‘game changer’ product. Emirates’ signature ghaf tree motif also features prominently throughout the interiors, including hand-stencilled panels in the First Class Shower Spa.
Emirates released a time-lapse video of the A380 retrofit process which is a fascinating insight into the work undertaken