Emirates has restored its service between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Christchurch Airport (CHC) via Sydney International Airport (SYD) on the carrier’s flagship Airbus A380 aircraft after more than three years.
The A380 touched down at CHC Airport on March 27, 2023, and was greeted by a crowd of spectators at the Christchurch Airport boundary, who watched as the iconic aircraft taxied through a ceremonial water cannon salute.
EK412 left DXB airport at 10:15 local time, stopping briefly in SYD airport at 07:00 local time before arriving in CHC airport at 13:55 hours the following day, local time.
The return flight, EK 413 will then depart CHC at 1820 local time, arriving in SYD at 1940 local time. The final leg will depart for DXB airport at 2145, arriving at 0515 local time.
“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. 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,” Barry Brown, Emirates’ divisional vice president Australasia, said in a statement.
Emirates said that the resumption of the DXB to CHC route is the start of a planned increase of seating capacity across the airline’s global network, after boosting operations 31% since the beginning of its financial year.
This operational boost included the re-introduction of Emirates’ nonstop A380 route from Auckland to Dubai in December of last year.