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Stunning photos, video as Qantas, Emirates A380s fly over Sydney Harbour

By David Flynn     Filed under: emirates, qantas, Airbus A380

Latest | Following this morning's historic Sydney Harbour A380 flyby featuring superjumbos from Qantas and Emirates, to mark the start of the alliance between these two airlines, here's a selection of fantastic photos capturing the moment.

Want to share your pics? Tweet your best shots to @AusBT, or email them to [email protected] and we'll add them to this page for all the world to see!

You may also enjoy this YouTube video clip shot by Jase AURadio, although you see much more of the aircraft than of the city below.

Previous | Two Airbus A380s – one Qantas, the other Emirates – will buzz Sydney Harbour today, Sunday March 31, to mark the new alliance between the two airlines.

The 10 minute flyover will take place around 10.30am and include two low passes over the Harbour Bridge at a height of 1500 feet, affording Sydneysiders a stunning view of these two superjumbos travelling in tight formation.

It's believed to be the first time that two Airbus A380s from different airlines have flown together in such a display, and the crew of both aircraft have practised by flying the route dozens of times in sophisticated A380 flight simulators over the past few months.

Both the Qantas and Emirates A380s taking off from Sydney Airport at 9.20am.

They'll head north to Longreef, then turn back to Watson's Bay and head west along the harbour before passing over the bridge at around 10.30am, with the Qantas plane in the lead and the Emirates A380 sitting slightly higher to its right.

Both A380s will continue towards Gladesville Bridge, then return in the same formation, before heading back to Sydney Airport to ferry travellers – including a sizeable media contingent – to Dubai on inaugural flights for the Qantas-Emirates alliance.

During the run the aircraft will use the special callsign 'Seismic', chosen because Emirates president Tim Clark is fond of saying the Qantas-Emirates partnership will cause a "seismic shift in global aviation" – the Qantas A380 will be Seismic 1 and the Emirates' plane, Seismic 2.

The special flight numbers allocated to this unique jaunt are QF6600 and EK8388.

Australian Business Traveller will be travelling on the Qantas A380 flight QF1 to Dubai as a guest of Qantas.

Get up to speed with how the Qantas-Emirates alliance will affect your travel

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 30/3/13 by mickey68

Well, this should be very cool to see. I will be at Sydney airport on Sunday around that time. Hope to catch a glimpse of the action

2 on 30/3/13 by watson374



3 on 30/3/13 by fxdxdy

Little confused.If you are going from Watson's Bay towards the Bridge and then onwards to Gladesville, wouldn't you be flying West instead of East?

1 on 30/3/13 by David

Indeed, and then east on the way back.

4 on 30/3/13 by qfflyer

This is what Qantas needs to do more of!

5 on 31/3/13 by AusFlyer

Had a great view of them...  They flew in perfect unison and looked great despite the grey skies!

6 on 31/3/13 by driley28

Looks amazing!

7 on 31/3/13 by woganfan


8 on 1/4/13 by Andie

I know I've been banging on about this for a couple of weeks now - but the price differential is astronomical

2 weeks ago - I checked QANTAS and Skyscanner for price comparisons on the same Emirates flights


Two weeks ago -->> Skyscanner - $6716, QANTAS - $9700

As at today -->> Skyscanner - $6716, QANTAS is $11,670

QANTAS has to recoup the the fly overs some how

1 on 1/4/13 by hutch

As has been said before, approval was needed from regulatory bodies before coordination on air fares. See below from businessspectator:

Emirates president Tim Clark said the two carriers have only just started the process of aligning fares, following Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approval.

"We have only just got the approval to actually start aligning fares," Mr Clark said.

"We couldn't even contemplate that beforehand." (1.04.2013)

As stated previously, I wouldn't be suprised if EK's fares rise a little and QF's go down... but that is pure speculation. There is a bundle of competition around at the moment, so pricing will need to be competitive.

So if you really want too, do a comparison again in two weeks and no doubt the pricing will have the same differential. I'm sure going through the process of streamlining pricing (amongst other things) will take some time... maybe even months. In the meantime book with another airline like EK or SQ if one stop is important.

1 on 1/4/13 by Andie

Aligning Fares is a corporate excuse.

The easiest way to aligh fare is to make it the same as you get it.

Qantas made a conscious decision to jack the price up

1 on 1/4/13 by hutch

I would suggest it is way more complex than it seems...

Emirates and Qantas have not gone through several regulatory processes (with NZ still to come) for the fun of it. It is required so that amongst other things, that can work together to price.

An example, is Air Niugini between PNG & Aus (SYD/BNE). Qantas sells seats on Air Niugini but each airline is still meant to compete with each other. If Qantas just matched Air Niugini's price they would find themselves in trouble with the ACCC.

I would suggest that the current pricing of EK flights by QF would be something similar. This is without factoring each airlines pricing formulas (not-yet aligned) and other factoring like supply/demand etc.

There are heaps of quirks in aviation which don't make sense to the wider world... at times its cheaper to fly to europe through dubai than it is to fly just to dubai.

If someone who's worked in the pricing area of an airline knows more, I'd be glad to learn from you!

My personal view is that Qantas can charge what it likes, the market will decide what it is willing to pay. (...and that corporate excuse came from EK not QF)

9 on 1/4/13 by CL9

Very beautiful display indeed...

1 on 2/4/13 by watson374

It was a sight to behold. All it needed was the main theme from The Battle Of Britain :P

1 on 2/4/13 by David

So very true - that stirring theme always gives me goosebumps!

Now, if only one of them had dipped their wings in a bit of a 'victory roll'...

10 on 3/4/13 by mb68

Does anybody know what % of seats will be sold per flight for QF code share on EK  aircrafts?

Im still struggling with "whats in it for EK?" as are EK staff at this point

11 on 5/4/13 by BERNIE LODGE

Bet Emirates did,nt arrange for a QF/ER flight around Duabi and the Burj Al Arab hotel to publicise the event.


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