Emirates restarts A380 service to Christchurch

Emirates A380.

© Shutterstock

Emirates A380.

© Shutterstock

http://www.falstaff.com/en/nd/emirates-restarts-a380-service-to-christchurch/ Emirates restarts A380 service to Christchurch Route from Dubai will operate via Sydney, starting in March. http://www.falstaff.com/fileadmin/_processed_/f/7/csm_Emirates_Airbus_A380_bd38d3a07b.jpg

Despite production of the A380 ending in 2021, the ‘double decker’ airliner remains iconic, and its return to Christchurch in New Zealand has been welcomed, with airport bosses reporting regular queries from customers about “when they can book to fly on it again”.

The Emirates route from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney will return in March, a daily service marking the airline’s 20th anniversary of flying to New Zealand. The A380 first flew to Christchurch – the smallest city in the world to host the giant aircraft – back in October 2016, with plane watchers setting up camp nearby to welcome what was seen as the future of commercial long-distance air travel.

But the COVID pandemic hit the A380 hard, with March 2020 seeing borders shut and China Southern Airlines the only airline not to ground the giant of the skies as air travel was decimated. During the travel hiatus, many companies looked at alternatives to a plane that can accommodate up to 850 passengers, but Emirates still has 118 of the aircraft, their fleet able to carry up to 615 passengers.

And the A380 remains very much party of air travel, with Christchurch airport chief executive Justin Watson saying: “During the A380 absence we have had regular [inquiries] about when people can book to fly on it again, so I won’t be surprised to have people here to welcome it back on March 26.”

The Christchurch service will include a new “premium economy” cabin, and comes shortly after Emirates restarted its non-stop Auckland to Dubai route, at 14,193km the longest A380 flight offered by the airline.