Emirates cuts flights from Sydney, Perth

Emirates cuts flights from Sydney, Perth

Emirates is reducing flights from Sydney and Perth in a series of "adjustments through the year in response to dynamic market conditions."

The Gulf airline and Qantas partner will cut its Perth flights back to a single daily service from March 31 with the axing of flight EK424/EK425. This will leave the sole Perth-Dubai flight as the Airbus A380 service EK420/EK421.

Last year saw Emirates announce plans to trim its Perth schedule to 11 flights per week on a seasonal basis by dropping EK424/EK425 to run only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, but as of the end of March this flight is being scrapped for good.

Emirates will also drop the Sydney-Bangkok-Dubai stopover service EK418/EK419 as of June 1, 2019, which will see Emirates' Sydney-Dubai route reduced to three – albeit non-stop – flights per day.

"Customers wishing to travel between Bangkok and Sydney will have flight choices provided by Emirates’ partner Qantas," the airline said.

These changes follow a schedule shake-up for Emirates' Australia flights announced in September 2018 which impacted Airbus A380 flights to Sydney and Melbourne.

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.
 

61 comments

  • bodez

    bodez

    13 Jan, 2019 11:54 pm

    Very interesting to see that the SIN-MEL tag survived this round of cuts.
    No member give thanks

  • Thomas Stephenson

    TJS

    14 Jan, 2019 07:43 am

    As well as SIN-BNE
    No member give thanks

  • maabbot

    maabbot

    13 Jan, 2019 11:54 pm

    very disappointing. Since the Qantas /Emirates "alliance" Emirates has now dropped Perth from 3x daily (with 2 A380s) to 1 x A380.

    Can't say Perth travellers have got much of out that alliance.
    Members who gave thanks

    PDC311, Frank

  • Dan

    DanV

    14 Jan, 2019 12:01 am

    The start of the PER-LHR non-stops would've played a role in the cuts as well. It's one of QF's highest yielding flights IIRC.
    No member give thanks

  • maabbot

    maabbot

    14 Jan, 2019 08:24 am

    Maybein part but that’s 240 seats of additional Qantas capacity with about 750 of Emirates reduced (one way per day). Not to mention the changes (reductions) at the time to Singapore as well by Qantas which they are gradually reinstating.
    No member give thanks

  • PERflyer

    PERflyer

    14 Jan, 2019 08:27 am

    Agree with DanV in that time QR have put on daily 380 to Perth, QF PER-LHR & A330 back on PER-SIN permanently it seems (any qf confirmation in this last point abt?) in any case the EK520/421 nightly 380 is by far the most popular for loads with the best connection times in DXB.
    No member give thanks

  • downdata

    downdata

    14 Jan, 2019 09:18 am

    In other words, less seats, higher prices is the trend
    No member give thanks

  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    15 Jan, 2019 05:49 am

    If the demand was there, the wouldn’t cut them
    Member who gave thanks

    iM

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    14 Jan, 2019 01:16 am

    Hmmm, I'm booked to fly EK SYD-BKK at the end of June, about 4 weeks after the service is cut. So if I'm now to go on QF, departure changes from early evening to 9.30am!!! Annoying, because the evening service has always been my preferred timing.
    No member give thanks

  • CQ

    MEL Traveller

    14 Jan, 2019 01:56 am

    I hope that QF introduces a bigger plane - A380 or 787 - on QF23/24 given the demand will increase. Or even better for me would be introduce a MEL-BKK service.
    Member who gave thanks

    thelongroad

  • Dan

    DanV

    14 Jan, 2019 07:15 am

    787 would be a capacity decrease on SYD-BKK, as the 787s are premium heavy configured. BKK is traditionally a low yielding market and QF would struggle to fill the premium seats.

    Perhaps JQ on SYD-BKK or increasing the existing MEL-BKK (complimenting the existing QF23/QF24) would help with the lost capacity, which is mostly Y flyers on low-yielding/budget tickets anyway.
    No member give thanks

  • Aleks Popovic

    SYDINI

    15 Jan, 2019 01:21 am

    I’m thinking the additional Perth flight cancellation will be because of the QF 787 Paris flight on the cards. QF will probably go double daily on the BKK flight as well and codeshare twice a day with EK. Win win for both airlines on the BKK flights. On the Perth cancellation though I’d say only QF is a winner if that materialises.
    No member give thanks

  • Kevin Luke

    Kevin Luke

    14 Jan, 2019 04:08 am

    The suspension of EK418/419 services is extremely disappointing as the flight times have been ideal for me over the years particularly as I connect in and out of CBR. In a day or two EK is altering the aircraft type on the SYD-BKK sector from a A380 to a B777 and from June maybe to a Qantas A330. Importantly, Emirates need to confirm there will be no reduction in Skywards Tier Miles/Miles should one elects to fly on a partner airline?
    No member give thanks

  • squeeowl

    squeeowl

    14 Jan, 2019 04:41 am

    The permanent cancelation of EK424/EK425 doesn't surprise me. While the service is busy a few months of the year, for most of 2018 the load factor of this service was well under 50% (and often lower - during off peak months this service often operated with somewhere between 60 and 90pax) even when EK was running 777-200LRs. The service is full 3 to 4 months of the year, so it wouldn't surprise me if it returns on a seasonal only basis in the future.

    Still, to think that EK has gone from operating 3x daily 777-300ERs to 1x daily A380 DXB-PER in a little under 4 years... While QR and QF have stepped up competition that is still a lot of capacity that has vanished in a few years (especially consider PER has lost EY as well last year).
    Member who gave thanks

    athols

  • PERflyer

    PERflyer

    14 Jan, 2019 08:31 am

    Agree with you but I think DXB has lost its lustre a bit as a destination. Sure you cannot deny it’s superb geographical location for transits especially Aus to Europe. I’m finding myself either on the non stop flight to LHR or going via SIN or HKG simply because I want to stop there instead of Dubai if not going non stop. I also think EK we’re guilty of flooding the market a bit when they had all these flights on with crazy capacity. Now seems they are more yield focussed.
    No member give thanks

  • Aleks  Lajovic

    Tube1

    14 Jan, 2019 07:10 am

    Cutting the SYD-BKK service was a real shock. I flew it in mid December and am flying on EK419 again tomorrow night. Since they changed from an A380 to a B777, loadings looked solid. I don’t know how the loadings looked between BKK - DXB. EK has been cutting in this part of the world for a while now, NZ services got hit hard last year. Is there any part of the world that EK is adding services?
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • tattyhead

    tattyhead

    14 Jan, 2019 07:13 am

    This is quite disappointing given that Thai has also recently cut their afternoon SYD-BKK flight. I was booked on that flight and then changed to the morning flight. A day before I flew, Thai called and offered to change me to Emirates (assume Thai was buying the seat) because C & F were overbooked. The return flight was also full. One aging 747 and an A330 a day is not good enough from Sydney to Bangkok.
    No member give thanks

  • RTWFF

    RTWFF

    14 Jan, 2019 08:16 am

    The Thai community in Sydney is going to be disappointed by this decision - many prefer EK over TG
    No member give thanks

  • Darren

    DGP

    14 Jan, 2019 10:00 am

    Hopefully this will be the incentive for TG to improve their offering to Sydney. Maybe they will move forward now with the rumoured double daily A359 to replace the B744? Even though there are a lot of B744 lovers out there....a replacement of this aircraft type to a A359 would be a huge upgrade for passengers.
    No member give thanks

  • johnaboxall

    johnaboxall

    14 Jan, 2019 08:42 am

    And SQ keeps on keeping on.
    No member give thanks

  • Trogdor

    Trogdor

    14 Jan, 2019 09:28 am

    Certainly from the Perth POV it looks like Qantas' direct London flights may be starting to have an impact.

    Will be interesting to see what happens if Qantas pushes ahead with its plans for the Perth mini-hub and direct Paris and Frankfurt flights.
    No member give thanks

  • Ozshanel

    Ozshanel

    14 Jan, 2019 10:12 am

    Unfortunately that will be dependant on Perth Airport who are desperately trying to prevent it from happening.
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • EllisT

    EllisT

    14 Jan, 2019 08:36 pm

    The airport has not, per se, blocked Qantas from doing it. Qantas is cracking a sad at the airport and not paying their invoices in full, so things are at a stalemate. Plus, from my experience, the international facility at T3 is pretty ordinary compared to T1 at PER.
    No member give thanks

  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    15 Jan, 2019 05:52 am

    Perth Airport prevented a new service starting (PER-JNB) by being incredibly restrictive on QF by not allowing them to utilise T3 for this.
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • Ozshanel

    Ozshanel

    15 Jan, 2019 08:40 am

    Qantas is “cracking a sad” precisely because Perth airport are preventing them from expanding their international operations in T3, which of course will be basic when it is only handling 2 flights a day. Imagine how things will improve if Qantas can fly to Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Johannesburg, Capetown etc, all with seamless connections from Qantas Domestic.
    People from Perth are always complaining how few international flights they have, As you can see from the comments attached to this article. Well Qantas want to massively expand and the only thing standing in the way is Perth airport. Maybe they should get on to their state MPs to get them to do something about it.
    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    15 Jan, 2019 07:46 pm

    QF wants to keep all their flights at PER within the same terminal, which means they want their international flights to use the international zone of their domestic terminal that was set up for the QF9/10 PER-LHR flights.
    QF wants to use this international zone until such time as the new PER terminal is open and QF moves their entire operation over.

    PER wants any new QF international flights to use the current international terminal and not the international zone they are using for their current flights.
    This would have the effect of increased transit times, higher chances of delays and more staffing required.

    QF scrapped a planned PER-JNB flight and sent the aircraft to additional SYD-SIN flights because of PERs refusal to allow them to use their QF9/10 international gate area.
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • HelenRQ

    HelenRQ

    16 Jan, 2019 04:32 pm

    I agree ElllisT, it's a pretty ordinary experience using T3 to travel overseas at the moment. Hope Perth Airport and Qantas can sort out their problems asap..but not holding my breath!
    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mark1

    14 Jan, 2019 11:32 am

    This is disappointing news, particularly as I’m booked on EK419 in F later in the year. I’m not sure Qantas will be able to offer anything close to replace it. First Emirates take away the chauffeur, now they take away the plane, this is not good!
    No member give thanks

  • NLF

    NLF

    24 Jan, 2019 09:53 am

    Mark1 - the Chauffeur Drive offering hasn't changed on paid tickets. Only on redemption tickets.
    No member give thanks

  • David Henshall

    Red Cee

    14 Jan, 2019 12:01 pm

    Emirates would be looking at the overall financial return before making these decisions. Obviously the flights weren’t making money, so why keep them? It is an ideal opportunity for Qantas to increase its BKK services.
    No member give thanks

  • Suzanne Cromie

    SuzanneCromie

    14 Jan, 2019 09:27 pm

    Qantas have already jacked the fares up after Emirates stops
    No member give thanks

  • Ratt Ruang

    CitizenF

    16 Jan, 2019 04:03 pm

    I could see that coming as well - now it will competition between two premium airlines that operate direct, non-stop service.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    14 Jan, 2019 12:01 pm

    This is reflective with the swap in fare prices, with QR now becoming a lot more expensive ex-Perth. Looks like QR is mopping up those remaining passengers quite nicely.
    No member give thanks

  • squeeowl

    squeeowl

    14 Jan, 2019 04:45 pm

    This is very much apparent as QR only promised A380 service to Perth until October 2018, but now it appears to be a permanent change. The load factors have been extremely high (90%+) in the last few months which would indicate they won't be going back to 777s any time soon.
    No member give thanks

  • aniljak

    aniljak

    14 Jan, 2019 12:46 pm

    Have to cut schedules as runway closed at Dubai in April and May for works
    No member give thanks

  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    14 Jan, 2019 12:51 pm

    This is a permanent cancellation, not a temporary reduction
    No member give thanks

  • CWT Traveller

    CWT Traveller

    16 Jan, 2019 03:08 pm

    The press release from EK made the PER route change sound like a temporary change only due to the runway mainenance. Did I read that wrong?
    No member give thanks

  • Miguel

    simiguelito47

    14 Jan, 2019 02:59 pm

    Was only a matter of time on the SYD-BKK. I wonder who would want to arrive somewhere at 1.30 am if they had the choice? Would always go for SQ or TG on the sector, the stopover made no difference especially against the quality.

    Reminded me of the old SQ flights from Narita touching down at 3 am - why, when you could save time going to Haneda, flying out at midnight, and landing in SIN at a more reasonable hour?

    To those who have flown 418/419, what were the load factors like?
    No member give thanks

  • Suzanne Cromie

    SuzanneCromie

    14 Jan, 2019 09:23 pm

    I took this flight every 6 weeks and Business Class was always 80 percent full or higher.
    No member give thanks

  • MikeMac

    MikeMac

    14 Jan, 2019 04:33 pm

    I am so disappointed with the cancellation of EK418/419. I took that flight 6 times last year, the load factors in J were pretty low, that's true, but Y looked full - the Thais really do prefer Emirates from Thai in economy...The good thing about the low load factors in business was the fact that one could use their QFF points on Emirates premium cabins out of Sydney, there were much more seats available on EK than on QF on that route
    No member give thanks

  • Suzanne Cromie

    SuzanneCromie

    14 Jan, 2019 09:21 pm

    Shocking decision to cut flights to Bangkok. I cannot stand Qantas, the A330 and the lazy hide behind the curtain (read magazines and chat) business class service
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • Suzanne Cromie

    SuzanneCromie

    14 Jan, 2019 09:25 pm

    Take a look at Qantas business class fares in second half of 2019. They are already on the gouge, up $1200 to $1500 return over current $3100 return. Looks like Thai will be swamped, At least the Thai crew smile and don’t hide behind curtains and their gates are close to Immigration
    No member give thanks

  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    15 Jan, 2019 05:54 am

    So an airline cuts a route, places their passengers on their partner airline hence filling seats on that airline and you don’t think fares will rise? Supply and demand...
    No member give thanks

  • Suzanne Cromie

    SuzanneCromie

    15 Jan, 2019 09:59 am

    Its gouge and gouge, when it comes to Qantas. Same on regional routes ariund Australia
    No member give thanks

  • Paul Clarke

    paclarke

    15 Jan, 2019 11:44 am

    Simple business, supply and demand.
    Airports allocate gates.
    I have an inkling you have a distinct disliking towards QF.
    No member give thanks

  • Suzanne Cromie

    SuzanneCromie

    15 Jan, 2019 12:44 pm

    I am lifetime gold on QF, not happy with their service in business. 99% of the time they hide behind curtains chatting or reading magazines. 85% of the time they don't smile. The A330 seats are uncomfortable and no airflow on window seats, as they are in a void for air flow. See lots of passengers pass out and require O2 to revive. So I only fly them when I have to these days.
    No member give thanks

  • josh559

    josh559

    15 Jan, 2019 03:27 am

    Wow. emirates EK 419 Sydney to Bangkok was all ways full They have to many flights around the same time 6 am then 5 pm then 10 pm 7.30 pm via Bangkok The 5 pm should be 12 or 2 pm
    No member give thanks

  • josh559

    josh559

    15 Jan, 2019 03:30 am

    The 5 pm on 777 should be axed the 10 pm is A380
    No member give thanks

  • AfricaTraveller

    AfricaTraveller

    15 Jan, 2019 04:49 am

    Good ol' Qantas eh. Predatory and ordinary. I couldn't agree more with SuzanneCromie's sentiments
    No member give thanks

  • Oliver Freeman

    oliverfreeman

    15 Jan, 2019 12:46 pm

    As a regular flyer between PER-LHR, I always take QR. Their J and Y are at a high load factor even in a typically low yield part of the year their flight time leaving Perth is the same as EK but the J flights and the Y flights are always cheaper. QR is wanting to expand more in a Australia but they can’t. It will be interesting to see if they opt to add technical stops for flights they can’t add because they are maxed out. EK is expanding in other parts of the World.
    No member give thanks

  • jasepalm

    jasepalm

    15 Jan, 2019 09:57 pm

    Is the SYD-CHC leg impacted by this change?
    No member give thanks

  • Brian Williams

    evilbrian

    16 Jan, 2019 03:49 pm

    No Jasepalm - that flight number is EK 412/413, but given the light loads on that flight at times, it'll probably be the next to go. I'm told that flight has quite a big freight component out of CHC sending delicious fresh chilled Kiwi food to the Middle East, so maybe that's enough to keep it viable for the time being. I'll really miss it when it's eventually gone.
    No member give thanks

  • NLF

    NLF

    24 Jan, 2019 09:56 am

    No, the SYD/CHC is a continuation of EK412/413 so not affected.
    No member give thanks

  • Doktor

    Doktor

    16 Jan, 2019 02:36 pm

    Just to remind everyone, airline alliances are about maximising each other's profit, not conveniencing each other's clients.
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • biggles69

    biggles69

    16 Jan, 2019 02:56 pm

    How can QF's single daily 330 cope with SYD traffic being shed by Emirates, especially as TG is now down to 1 flight a day ? Surely either QF or TG will increase capacity??
    No member give thanks

  • Heath

    heathcor

    16 Jan, 2019 03:04 pm

    Yes its short sighted to cut the SYD / BKK flights... For Mel oneworld travellers it now restricts options to either head up to Sydney on an early morning flight to connect to QF23 (seriously Qantas bring back a direct flight to BKK); or go via singapore. and no Jetstar is not an option... the later Emirates flight was a good option...
    No member give thanks

  • P1

    P1

    16 Jan, 2019 03:58 pm

    interesting, the EK418/EK419 A380 used to go to from Sydney to Auckland too, and that was scrapped a year ago, giving the route to Qantas, now the entire route is being scrapped, giving Qantas that as well, and even more passengers...
    No member give thanks

  • Ratt Ruang

    CitizenF

    16 Jan, 2019 04:07 pm

    Such a frustrating news- Now only TG that offers First Class service, and it seems like they will stop that soon along with their classic B747.
    No more F on direct and non-stop flight between Sydney and Bangkok is quite surprising considering both cities are this important for its regions.
    No member give thanks

  • athols

    athols

    16 Jan, 2019 05:29 pm

    I seem to recall the 3rd daily EK flight ex Perth was a result of the delay in A380 bay being finished when EK wanted to introduce A380. (about 18 mths delay) Once the new gate opened the mid afternoon flight was dropped - pity it was as it was a great time to leave if terminating or laying over in Dubai. I guess the death knell has come with QR introducing A380 as well on almost same timing as EK A380 service and the popularity of the QF PER LHR service. Although handy for building status credits and points the QF EK alliance has been very limiting for QFFs as no upgrades available on non QF equip and no PE on EK. My corp budget only allows PE which makes all the difference. Plus very limited QF code shares into Africa where most of my business is done. Just Nairobi and Accra. QF certainly dispensed with Perth when it suited but slowly that is rebuilding.
    Member who gave thanks

    Frank

  • Effiomboy

    Melvin

    21 Jan, 2019 07:13 pm

    I seriously wonder how Emirates is going to reduce flights to 3x daily from 4 without altering the timing. Currently, the flight DXB-BKK-SYD (which to be cut for good) becomes SYD-DXB (departs SYD 1600); and the DXB-SYD(departs DXB 2130) becomes SYD-BKK-DXB. Unless Emirates is also thinking of culling CHC then this is possible to maintain the existing timing of all its direct flights; i.e. DXB - SYD ===> SYD - DXB
    Flight 1: 10:00 - 06:30 ===> 16:00 - 00:00
    Flight 2: 02:00 - 22:30 ===> 06:00 - 13:00
    Flight 3: 21:30 - 18:00 ===> 21:30 - 05:30

    The other option is for Emirates to follow Brisbane's timing to be as such:

    DXB - SYD ===> SYD - DXB

    Flight 1: 10:00 - 06:30 ===> 21:30 - 05:30 (enroute CHC)

    Flight 2: 02:00 - 22:30 ===> 06:00 - 13:00

    Flight 3: 21:30 - 18:00 ===> 22:30 - 06:30



    No member give thanks

  • Suzanne Cromie

    SuzanneCromie

    24 Jan, 2019 10:03 am

    See QANTAS has already jacked up the business class fares from SYD to BKK post June 1 (when EK stops) Like 48%!! $4600 v $3100 return. Looks like Thai is the way to go. at $2650 return. I can buy a lot of tailor made clothes for $2000.
    No member give thanks

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25 May, 2019 01:52 am

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