Emirates has resumed Airbus A380 services to and from Melbourne, replacing its Boeing 777-300ER on daily flights between Melbourne and Dubai.
The first Airbus A380 to return to Melbourne, registration A6-EVH, landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport from Dubai on Tuesday, 1 February at 11:34pm local time as flight number EK408.
That same jet was used to perform the return leg as EK409 from Melbourne to Dubai International Airport on Wednesday, 2 February at 10:43pm local time, landing in Dubai around 13 hours and 40 minutes later.
It comes after the Dubai-based airline reinstated its daily A380s services to Sydney in December.
It also comes after Emirates recently increased capacity to and from Melbourne from four times a week to daily.
Emirates said that by bringing back its A380s on its popular Sydney and Melbourne routes, it allows the airline to boost passenger capacity by nearly 50 per cent.
Barry Brown, Emirates divisional vice-president for Australasia said: “We at Emirates are thrilled to see the A380’s return to Melbourne.
“Now that the Victorian capital has once again become the latest destination in our A380 network, Australians will have more opportunities for leisure and business travel.”
Brown highlighted that 2022 marks Emirates’ 25th year of service to Australia, following its first flight between Melbourne and Dubai in 1996.
“Our commitment to this country remains as strong as it was back then. Adding more seats to our Melbourne service is yet another way of demonstrating our commitment, as we continue to ramp up our services to Australia,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lorie Argus, chief of aviation for Melbourne Airport said, “We are excited to have welcomed the Emirates’ A380 return to Melbourne Airport. This is significant as it marks the return of our first daily A380 service for the first-time since the start of the pandemic.
“The widebody aircraft will operate daily between Melbourne and Dubai, connecting our passengers to the rest of the world – assisting our pathway to international aviation recovery.”
It comes after Australian flag carrier Qantas returned its A380s to passenger service last month, after a nearly two-year hiatus.
VH-OQB took to the skies as QF11 from Sydney-LAX on Tuesday, 11 January at 9:44pm, for its nearly 14-hour journey.
It marked not only the first passenger service onboard Qantas’ flagship Airbus A380 aircraft since the early days of the pandemic, but also OQB’s first passenger flight in 659 days.
The last time VH-OQB carried passengers was on 23 March 2020.
It comes after Qantas announced it would dramatically fast-track the return of its first superjumbo to passenger service from April to January, in order to ease staffing pressures due to COVID-19 isolation orders.