New Zealanders will have a new nonstop option to Bali from June when Emirates Airline commences flights between Auckland to the popular Indonesian tourist destination.
Emirates said on Monday it planned to launch daily Dubai-Bali-Auckland service with Boeing 777-300ER equipment, with the first flight set to take off on June 14 2018.
The Dubai-headquartered carrier will have pickup rights on the Auckland-Bali sector.
It will be the only airline offering year-round nonstop flights between Auckland and Bali. Air New Zealand has offered a seasonal Auckland-Bali service for the past few years.
The new flight adds a third option for passengers travelling on Emirates-operated services to or from New Zealand, alongside nonstop daily Auckland-Dubai and daily Dubai-Sydney-Christchurch flights with the Airbus A380.
The Qantas alliance partner also operates daily Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland flights. However, these services are ending in March 2018.
“We’re pleased to introduce additional capacity to serve the strong demand for travel to Bali, and to Auckland,” Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said in a statement on Monday.
“We are confident that our year-round service between Auckland and Bali will be well received by our customers, not only in New Zealand and Indonesia, but also from our global network particularly from markets like the UK, Europe and the Middle East.”
The 777-300ER to be used on the route can carry 354 passengers, with eight seats in first class, 42 in business class and 304 in economy class.
In their application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for reauthorisation of their alliance for a further five years, Qantas and Emirates said new nonstop flights from Auckland to Dubai (on Emirates) and Doha (on Qatar Airways) had reduced the volume of connecting passengers between Australia and New Zealand.
It also flagged Emirates was looking at more capacity into Auckland following the decision to end the trans-Tasman tag flights from Auckland to Brisbane and Melbourne in March, as well as its Auckland-Sydney flight, which was terminated in July 2017.
“Emirates itself is currently evaluating a potential second daily direct service between Auckland and Dubai and, if this materialises, it expects connecting traffic to New Zealand via Australia to reduce further,” the application lodged in October 2017 said.
The ACCC has in a draft determination approved the extension of the alliance.
The new Emirates flights have been scheduled as a lunchtime departure from Auckland, with EK451 arriving in Bali just before 1800 local time. After about two hours on the ground, the 777-300ER continues onto Dubai, arriving just after midnight.
Meanwhile, the reciprocal EK450 departs Dubai just before 0700, touching down at Bali at 2020. The Bali-Auckland portion of the journey is an overnight flight that lands in New Zealand’s largest city at 1000 the next day.