Emirates is adding a third daily flight to its Sydney-Dubai route so travellers can make faster connections to Europe, an airline spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller today.
The early-morning flight EK415 (leaving Sydney at 0600) is specifically scheduled to arrive into Dubai at 1330 for same-day connections to London, Birmingham, Munich, Paris, Rome, Milan, Zurich, Athens and Moscow.
In the return direction, the flight leaves Dubai at a connection-convenient 0140 to arrive in Sydney at 2230. Unlike Emirates' daily Airbus A380 flight to Sydney, which extends to Auckland, the new flights won't cross the Tasman before returning to Dubai.
Business travellers from regional Australia have particular reason to celebrate. Emirates will put up connecting passengers in first and business class overnight at the Stamford Plaza hotel at Sydney Airport so they can be certain to make the early flight to Dubai.
Emirates will use stretched Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route, with 12 first class suites, 42 angled lie-flat business class seats, and 304 seats in a 3-4-3 economy class configuration at the back of the plane.
Frequent flyers may remember the additional flight from previous years: Emirates used a smaller 777-200LR plane as a third daily flight before moving that aircraft on to other routes. The flight is returning from October 2011.
The business class seats on the 777 aren't quite as comfortable as the A380 seats for sleeping since they recline to an angle rather than fully flat -- and unfortunately there's no stand-up bar at the back of business class like there is on the superjumbo.
But business travellers looking to make early connections into Europe may find the better timings an acceptable tradeoff, especially on a day flight, because the recliner seats are comfortable enough for snoozing, and the award-winning widescreen ICE on-demand entertainment is just as good.
If you're booking a business class ticket, don't miss our special report on the best seats to choose in business on Emirates' 777-300ER.