Back on August 2, 2003, Emirates initiated its inaugural service to New Zealand, notable for its simultaneous debut flights.
One flight was conducted via Sydney utilizing a Boeing 777-300ER, while the second utilized an A330 departing from Melbourne. Among the passengers onboard one of these flights was HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive.
Emirates Marks 20 years in New Zealand
Throughout these twenty years, Emirates has facilitated the transportation of more than 16 million travelers between Dubai and New Zealand through a remarkable tally of 49,000 flights connecting Auckland and Christchurch.
Presently, Emirates ensures a substantial 14 weekly flights to New Zealand from Dubai. This encompasses direct daily routes to Auckland and an additional route to Christchurch through Sydney, granting passengers a unique opportunity to traverse the Trans-Tasman route aboard the A380 aircraft.
Emirates’ Dubai-to-Auckland route persists as the lengthiest route within its network, embarking passengers on a remarkable 14,000-kilometer expedition.
Notably, Christchurch claims the distinction of being the smallest city in the network served by the flagship A380.
In March 2023, New Zealand made history by exclusively adopting Emirates’ new four-class A380 for all its flights. These A380 aircraft are equipped with 56 Premium Economy seats, a novel cabin class introduced by Emirates as a component of its extensive aircraft retrofit initiative.
This initiative stands out as the first of its kind in terms of scale and magnitude, representing one of the most significant investments ever undertaken within the aviation industry.
Emirates SkyCargo, the airline’s cargo division, played a pivotal role in bolstering the local economy by exporting essential commodities like meat, fruits, seafood, and medical equipment from New Zealand.
In a time when numerous international airlines halted operations in New Zealand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates remained steadfast, offering services using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that flew the Auckland-Dubai route via Kuala Lumpur.
During the pandemic, Emirates successfully transported nearly 17,700 tons of vaccines and vital medical supplies into New Zealand.
Barry Brown, Divisional Vice President for Australasia at Emirates, emphasized that this significant milestone underscores the airline’s unwavering dedication to the New Zealand market.
“Throughout the past two decades, New Zealand has retained its pivotal status in the Emirates network, and this remains evident today as the nation takes a prominent position in our latest onboard offerings. By incorporating Premium Economy seats on all A380 flights to New Zealand, we present travelers with our most exceptional offering yet, enhancing their options and flexibility.”
“We take immense pride in our contributions to New Zealand over this period, where we’ve been instrumental in exporting the country’s abundant array of locally sourced goods to the global stage. Equally important, we’ve played a crucial role in keeping New Zealand internationally connected amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“With a growing demand for travel, we eagerly anticipate the continued expansion of our services to New Zealand. This expansion not only affords travelers the opportunity to experience our top-tier product but also contributes significantly to the economy through enhanced travel connectivity, cargo transport, and inbound passenger capacity.”
The allure of the Emirates A380 experience continues to captivate travelers, as those journeying to New Zealand revel in its capacious and comfortable cabins and its acclaimed inflight entertainment system, boasting over 6,500 channels of on-demand content.
Emirates is committed to showcasing local New Zealand produce and wines onboard. Presently, passengers on Business Class and First Class services to New Zealand can savor the Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2022.
Furthermore, passengers can anticipate the addition of several distinguished New Zealand wines to the onboard selection later this year, including the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Marlborough, Framingham Sauvignon Blanc 2022 Wairau Valley, and Escarpment Pinot Noir 2020 Martinborough.
Further insight into Emirates’ steadfast commitment to New Zealand and its 20-year milestone can be gleaned from the timeline below.
Emirates in Aotearoa – A Concise Chronology:
August 2, 2003: Commencement of Emirates’ Inaugural Flight to Auckland The inaugural day featured two flights via Sydney on a Boeing 777-300ER and an A330 departing from Melbourne.
October 2003: Initiation of Emirates Auckland-Brisbane-Dubai Service
July 2004: Commencement of Emirates Christchurch-Melbourne-Dubai Service 2004: Emirates becomes the Naming Sponsor of Emirates Team New Zealand
October 2008: Emirates Becomes First Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2011. As the airline sponsor, Emirates delivered the trophy and the participating teams to New Zealand before the event.
February 2009: Emirates’ A380 Makes Its Inaugural Flight to Auckland March 2016: Introduction of Emirates’ Landmark Auckland to Dubai Non-stop Route Originally launched on a Boeing 777-200LR, this route transitioned to an A380 within six months due to high demand.
November 2016: Inauguration of Emirates Christchurch A380 Service Amid great excitement, the first Emirates A380 arrived in Christchurch, making it the smallest city on the airline’s A380 network.
March 2021: Triumph of Emirates Team New Zealand in Auckland In front of a home crowd, Emirates Team New Zealand secured the 26th America’s Cup in Auckland, watched globally during lockdown.
2020-2022: Unwavering Dedication to New Zealand Amid the Pandemic While numerous international airlines suspended services to New Zealand during the pandemic, Emirates remained steadfast in serving New Zealanders and upholding global connections.
Operations continued with a Boeing 777 aircraft flying via Kuala Lumpur. Emirates SkyCargo played a pivotal role in transporting goods in and out of New Zealand, including vaccines.
December 2022: Resumption of Auckland to Dubai Non-stop A380 Route Emirates reinstated its non-stop A380 flight to Dubai in December 2022, drawing considerable media attention.
March 2023: Relaunch of Christchurch to Dubai Route via Sydney; Exclusive Operation of Four-class A380
In March of this year, Emirates reintroduced its daily Christchurch to Dubai A380 route via Sydney. This launch established New Zealand as the first country on Emirates’ A380 network to exclusively operate the four-cabin refurbished A380.
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