Emirates temporarily winds back flights to Australia, New Zealand

Emirates temporarily winds back flights to Australia, New Zealand

Emirates will reduce flights to Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland over April and May 2019 due to runway updates at its sprawling Dubai hub, with travellers needing to plan around the temporary cut-backs.

For Sydneysiders, the daily Airbus A380 EK417 flight to Dubai will be paused between April 18 and May 29 2019, according to the airline's booking system, as is EK416 from Dubai to Sydney during the same period, leaving three daily Airbus A380 flights.

The daily non-stop Boeing 777 service between Brisbane and Dubai (EK431/EK430) is also cut from April 17 to May 29, although Emirates' daily non-stop Airbus A380 service continues during this period, as does its other Boeing 777 flight which detours via Singapore in each direction.

Some flights on the Adelaide-Dubai and Auckland-Bali-Dubai routes are also being wound back, typically with 2-3 cancellations each week over the six-week period.

Out of Perth, the airline's double-daily flights are reduced to one service each day, with Emirates' Boeing 777 EK424/EK425 flights on hiatus during the dates above, leaving a single daily Airbus A380 flight.

Flights to other destinations including London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports face similar reductions during the same period.

In statement issued by Emirates this afternoon, in response to enquiries from Australian Business Traveller, the airline said it "is aware of the planned upgrade works on the southern runway at DXB which will be carried out from April to May 2019."

"We will have to adjust capacity due to the planned runway closure. Details are being worked on and will be announced closer to date.”

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.


  • reeves35


    10 Jul, 2018 02:44 pm

    Perth to Europe is showing signs that it is pretty maxxed out and obviously the yields achievable are declining accordingly. You'd think this would make Qantas a bit leery about launching direct services from PER to CDG or FRA in the short term.
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  • Adam T


    10 Jul, 2018 02:52 pm

    QF doesn't solely rely on Perth O&D for it's Europe non-stop with the majority of pax O&D from ADL, MEL, SYD, BNE etc so I don't think this EK change would impact QF strategy on a CDG or FRA service.
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  • aklrunway


    10 Jul, 2018 04:13 pm

    Can't really compare a PER-CDG/FRA service to a second daily PER-Middle East service... apples and oranges.
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  • grov


    10 Jul, 2018 02:58 pm

    One I'm worried about is Qatar - don't want to lose that great service.
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  • afloskar


    10 Jul, 2018 03:04 pm

    Flights to the Middle East halved now. Gone from 4 to 2 in 8 months.
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  • jrfsp


    10 Jul, 2018 03:09 pm

    This flight was poorly supported locally, i know i always avoided it... with terrible arrival and dept times, no intra state connections, and passengers enduring the 777 product.
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  • Brayden


    10 Jul, 2018 03:10 pm

    Sigh. At least the Emirates A380 is still flying to Perth.
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  • Mark


    10 Jul, 2018 04:07 pm

    David it might be worth checking with EK on flights from Brisbane as a search in April 2019 is showing only 2 daily with EK430/431 removed at least until mate May.
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  • chookysoop


    10 Jul, 2018 04:15 pm

    David I think this article should be removed until you have all the facts about the DXB runway works. Seems unfair to tarnish EK’s good reputation in the Perth market.
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  • maabbot


    10 Jul, 2018 04:28 pm

    Totally agree. The article infers this may be a suspension, not axing / cancelling...need to get facts straight
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  • leisuretraveler


    10 Jul, 2018 04:36 pm

    I flew on this flight into Perth on 22nd June and economy was less than 50% full. Great being the only passenger in a window row of 3 and whole row having 5 passengers. Thought they would have waited to see the effects of EY cancelling before reducing services

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  • PERflyer


    10 Jul, 2018 04:42 pm

    They have to reduce capacity for runway works they have done this many times before
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  • petercr


    11 Jul, 2018 02:56 pm

    Yep, was the subject of a couple of episodes of Ultimate Airport Dubai a few years back...
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  • maabbot


    10 Jul, 2018 04:41 pm

    Actually do a search from 1 June 2019...both flights are listed
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  • David Flynn


    10 Jul, 2018 04:58 pm

    As promised, this article has now been updated based on Emirates' response.
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  • moa999


    10 Jul, 2018 06:00 pm

    The reduction appears to be global.
    Routes online has a great summary.

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  • David Flynn


    10 Jul, 2018 06:13 pm

    Oh, it's global alright, we have just focussed on the routes in our backyard so to speak – but to check on how this impacts connecting flights, in what appears to be an evolving list, readers can visit https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/279507/emirates-outlines-2q19-service-reductions-for-dubai-airport-runway-upgrade-project/
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  • Paulr


    10 Jul, 2018 06:17 pm

    Im booked on EK417 23 May 2019 as a Qantas FF redemption in First. The flight still is showing on my Qantas account as active and when I manage my booking on Emirates website the flight seems OK. Qantas FF know nothing about it. What usually happens in these circumstances. Do I automatically get rebooked or do I need to be proactive and find a new flight ?

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  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    10 Jul, 2018 06:51 pm

    It varies from airline to airline. But generally they should rebook you in the same class (if available) on the next flight.

    I had this happen to me twice on Thai and Asiana. Thai was a first class booking but due to equipment change with no F available on that route, they automatically booked me to business class. For the Asiana flight, the flight on my day was cancelled and they put me to next day's flight.

    I had 2 choices in those situations. One is getting it refunded without penalty or accept the change, and get the issuing airline to reissue the ticket to sync with the new flight.
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  • Matt


    11 Jul, 2018 09:51 am

    I'm in the same boat, booked for April 30th on EK417. As Emirates hasn't seemed to have made an official announcement I don't think anything will come of it for a few days at least. Qantas said the same thing - they said they weren't aware and asked for a link to the announcment from Emirates.
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  • Daniel Kotronis


    10 Jul, 2018 07:41 pm

    UAE424/425 Cancelled between 17APR19 and 01JUN19 STC
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  • Daniel Kotronis


    10 Jul, 2018 07:45 pm

    *Meant Suspended.
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  • Performa


    11 Jul, 2018 12:49 am

    Of note EK416/17 is now a B773ER not a A380
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  • Jack Turner


    12 Jul, 2018 03:47 am

    EK416/17 is only a B773ER until end of October after that it is back to an A380 so when the runway closes in May it will be an A380
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  • Troy Filson


    11 Jul, 2018 03:14 pm

    Reporting details based upon their "booking system" might not be the best journalistic practice as the reality could be quite different to what they've published. As a matter of clarity, do you mean GDS or their own PSS system?
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  • Himeno


    11 Jul, 2018 03:39 pm

    What are they doing to the runway that it requires being closed for 6 weeks?

    They did a full rebuild of both runways in 2014 which was meant to prevent their needing major works before 2024.
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  • wdeguara


    11 Jul, 2018 03:45 pm

    There's a bit more explanatory info on the Dubai Airports website. TIP: Google "Southern Runway Rehabilitation Programme"
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  • patrickk


    11 Jul, 2018 05:03 pm

    A very busy airport in incredible heat. Hard to keep it functioning at the rate it does without maintenance and even a rebuild. Hopefully Al Maktoum will come on line soon or at least ease the load on the current runways.
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  • John Cook


    11 Jul, 2018 04:51 pm

    I find the different views on this news quite interesting.
    We travel to Europe during this period every year, having just got back from Italy just 2 weeks ago. We prefer the morning flight. We nearly always find the staff on the 777 more pleasant than the 380 and this trip was no exception, this is for J class. I acknowledge the connection times with the earlier flight from Perth but we book an overnight hotel in Dubai (as little as $80) and with a decent nights sleep are ready to go when we hit our final destination. The price for J class between the two current flights can be as much as $1200 dearer on the evening flight, per person. The 0600 business class is nearly always full, or thereabouts. This may be a blessing in disguise as we might now consider other airlines with, maybe, different stopovers.
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  • Mark Nabbs


    11 Jul, 2018 06:54 pm

    Johnny2803 my family also has preferred the morning flight , as you hit Dubai early afternoon and have a sleep before going onwards to Europe the next day , although I do prefer the A380 . So echo your thoughts , although I think this flight (EK424) will be back once runway maintainance (in Dubai) is completed .
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  • lind26


    12 Jul, 2018 08:18 pm

    Why is Melbourne not reduced too?
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  • Traveller14


    16 Jul, 2018 10:15 pm

    Is it a commentary on how well loadings are doing at present? EK has two nonstops plus one daily via BKK. SQ has four daily, plus a fifth on four days a week, plus Scoot. QF has two but JQ is down to just two a week each way.
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20 Jul, 2019 01:37 pm


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