Emirates may launch a second daily flight between Auckland and Dubai as the airline re-examines its New Zealand strategy.
The Gulf carrier tipped its hand in a joint submission with partner Qantas to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to renew the airlines' existing partnership for a further five years.
“Emirates... is currently evaluating a potential second daily direct service between Auckland and Dubai," the submission reveals.
Earlier this month Emirates revealed plans to axe its Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland Airbus A380 flights from 25 March 2018 – a move which followed the July 2017 ditching of superjumbo flights between Sydney and Auckland.
Under the terms of the Qantas-Emirates alliance, Qantas was required to step in and provide additional flights on the Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland routes in order to maintain the total number of seats available to travellers.
However, as part of their submission to the ACCC, Qantas and Emirates have requested the removal of all capacity restrictions on trans-Tasman routes, citing reduced demand following the launch of non-stop flights from Auckland to Dubai as well as the Doha hub of Qatar Airways.
The application cites a 13% drop in connecting traffic between Australia and New Zealand, and says "Qantas and Emirates expect this trend to continue as carriers add more direct services to and from New Zealand in the future."
Emirates has previously said that is is evaluating a new direct service between another New Zealand city and Dubai.