Christchurch Airport has welcomed its first Airbus A380 flight with the arrival of Emirates’ service from Sydney and Dubai.
The inaugural service with the A380, EK412, touched down on Monday. The flight, which operated as a Dubai-Sydney-Christchurch rotation, was previously served with Boeing 777-300ER equipment and had an additional stop in Bangkok en route.
Christchurch Airport set up a dedicated viewing area for the public to watch the A380s arrival, with several hundred on hand to watch the aircraft land late on Monday afternoon. Emirates had a red London bus on hand at Christchurch for the event, recognising that passengers can now fly on an A380 all the way from Christchurch to London.
The aircraft, A6-EUG, was on the ground at Christchurch Airport for about five hours before taking off as the reciprocal EK413 bound for Dubai via Sydney.
The aircraft change at Christchurch, as well as the upgauge of Emirates’ EK448/449 Dubai-Auckland-Dubai rotation from the Boeing 777-200LR to the A380 that also took place at the end of October, means all five of the airline’s daily flights to New Zealand are operated with the A380.
The Qantas alliance partner has maintained a Bangkok option for Australian and New Zealand travellers by switching its Dubai-Sydney-Auckland A380 service to a Dubai-Bangkok-Sydney-Auckland routing.
Emirates’ third Sydney service is a nonstop flight from Dubai.