Emirates will add a second Australian Airbus A380 flight to its network next year, with the Dubai-Melbourne-Auckland route upgraded to the superjumbo.
The route will be Emirates' second A380 flight to Australia (and extending to New Zealand across the Tasman), adding to the Sydney flight that has run on the superjumbo since 2009.
Daily return flights EK406 and EK407 will see the A380 from October 2012, replacing the existing Boeing 777-300ER planes that are used on the route -- so it's a bigger and better plane rather than an extra daily flight from Melbourne.
The A380 upgrade is great news for business travellers heading across the Tasman, to Dubai, or connecting in Emirates' megahub for flight to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The A380's business class offering is markedly better than the 777's, with fully flat beds, direct aisle access for every passenger, more room and a standup bar at the back of the upper deck.
We crossed the Tasman in Emirates' business class on the A380 earlier this year and were very impressed. (The angled lie-flat business class seats on the 777 are less impressive, especially if you're on the 14+ hour trek to Dubai.)
But make sure you check our guide to picking the best seats in Emirates' A380 business class for your superjumbo flight: since the business class cabin is so big (76 seats across roughly three-quarters of the A380's upper deck) there are some seats that are especially quiet and private.
Emirates flies two other daily flights from Melbourne to Dubai: EK408/EK409 via Kuala Lumpur and EK404/EK405 via Singapore. Those connecting flights will still use the Boeing 777-300ER planes that currently ply the routes.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.