Emirates has announced the return of its Airbus A380 wide-body aircraft on a passenger route directly connecting the UAE and New Zealand.
The Emirates A380 superjumbo jet registered A6-EUU took off for flight EK448 between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Auckland Airport (AKL) on December 5, 2022. With an estimated flight time of just under 16 hours, the Dubai-Auckland flight has reclaimed the title of Emirates’ longest route on its network as well as one of the world’s longest non-stop scheduled commercial flights.
The recent flight marks the airline’s first A380 non-stop service to New Zealand since February 2020, when the plane was removed from the route due to the low passenger demand related to COVID-19 pandemic air travel restrictions.
According to Emirates’ statement, the A380 aircraft return demonstrates “increasing travel demand in and out of New Zealand”.
“The latest update to [Emirates A380, ed.-] services will offer customers greater levels of flexibility and choice when making travel plans and provide seamless connectivity and reduced transit time when traveling to other destinations in its global network, including destinations in Europe and the Middle East,” the Dubai-based carrier added.
The airline has been gradually accelerating the deployment of its flagship A380 planes in line with growing passenger demand for air travel post-pandemic. Currently, Emirates has a total of 119 Airbus A380-800 wide-bodies in its fleet, Planespotters.com data indicates.
While Emirates has already deployed its A380 aircraft to 37 global destinations across 25 countries, the airline plans to increase its A380 network to a total of 42 routes by March 2023.