Emirates to launch A380 service from DXB to Christchurch

U.A.E.-based Emirates airline will soon begin operating the world’s largest passenger plane between Dubai and Christchurch, New Zealand, making it the first airline to offer regular, scheduled A380 services to and from Christchurch.

The carrier announced Sept. 6 that it will upgrade the current daily Christchurch service from Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-300ERs to the super-jumbo A380s effective Oct. 30. At the same time, the carrier will eliminate the en route stop in Bangkok, enabling passengers to travel between CHC and DXB with a single stop in Sydney, Australia (SYD).

Emirates Airbus A380 at the gate at Los Angeles International Airport LAX
Emirates A380 at the gate at LAX

The launch of the Christchurch A380 flights will coincide with the introduction of the A380 on Emirates’ daily non-stop route between DXB and Auckland (AKL), currently world’s longest scheduled passenger route by both miles flown and, in the westbound direction, duration. Earlier this year, TheTravelPro took that flight and reported on the experience here.

TheTravelPro also had the opportunity to ride the A380 between Los Angeles International Aiprot (LAX) and DXB. The article about that experience is available here.

Business-class seat on the A380

The outbound flight to CHC, EK412, will depart DXB at 10:15, offering convenient connections with southbound services from many of the European destinations served by Emirates. The flight will stop only in Sydney before arriving in Christchurch at 13:50 the next day, local time.

The return flight, EK413, will depart CHC at 18:45 hours, arriving at DXB at 05:15 hours the next day after its stop in Sydney. Eliminating the stop in Bangkok will reduce the journey time by approximately two hours in each direction, the airline said in its statement announcing the service changes.

Emirates is the only airline offering year-round scheduled A380 services to and from New Zealand, according to the carrier.

The author and fellow passenger in the A380 lounge 

In conjunction with the flights on the A380 and the DXB-AKL flight, TheTravelPro also visited Christchurch, which was struck by two devastating earthquakes in late 2010 and early 2011. Five years on, the city is not yet fully recovered but nonetheless has much to offer visitors, both as a destination in and of itself and as a jumping-off point for other destinations and activities.

Known as the Garden City, Christchurch is the main gateway to New Zealand’s South Island. The picturesque Avon River runs through the middle of the city of more than 380,000 residents. The banks of the river feature cycle paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Other attractions include the International Antarctic Centre, the Christchurch Art Gallery and the starting point for scenic journeys on the Trans Alpine passenger train.

Read the article, Making the Most of Christchurch,  as well as a review of the Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Hotel here.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photos by Carl Dombek
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