Emirates’ flagship Airbus A380 has returned to Brisbane for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, as it ramps up its flight schedule servicing the Queensland capital.
Flight EK430, operated by aircraft registration A6-EVC, touched down at Brisbane Airport at 10:57pm on Tuesday, 1 March, following its nearly 14-hour stretch from Dubai.
It marked not only the return of the iconic aircraft, but also the start of daily flights connecting Brisbane and Emirates’ hub of Dubai.
— Brisbane Airport ✈️ (@BrisbaneAirport) March 1, 2022
Prior to Tuesday, Emirates was operating six times per week into Brisbane, using its fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
The news means Emirates will offer an additional 3,000 seats per week to and from Brisbane, a decision the airline said will allow it to keep up with increasing demand for international travel from the Sunshine State.
With this new capacity increase, Emirates is now operating 31 flights per week to and from Australia, following the reopening of the country’s borders to tourists on 21 February.
From 1 March to 26 March, EK430 from Dubai to Brisbane will depart Dubai at 2:50am local time, arriving in Brisbane at 10:40pm.
Meanwhile, from 2 March to 27 March, flight EK431 from Brisbane to Dubai will depart the Queensland capital at 8:55pm, arriving in Dubai at 5:30am the following day.
Then from 27 March to 30 June, the schedules change slightly with EK430 departing at 2:30am and landing at 10:20pm, while EK431 departs at 9:55pm, and arrives at 5:10am the following day.
Barry Brown, Emirates divisional vice-president for Australasia said: “As an international airline that has been serving Australia for over 25 years, we are especially delighted to boost our services to Brisbane, adding more seats and frequency on flights to Dubai and bringing back our signature aircraft to the Queensland capital.
“Since late last year, we have been busy quickly adapting our operations and boosting capacity in response to demand arising from the re-opening of our borders.”
Brown noted that the A380’s return to Brisbane marks the third point in the country to see Emirates’ flagship jet.
It comes after the airline last month welcomed the return of its superjumbo on daily flights connecting Melbourne and Dubai and follows the return of its A380 to Sydney in December.
Emirates now operates twice-daily flights between Sydney and Dubai on its A380 fleet.
It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison finally reopened Australia’s international borders to tourists last month.
It marked Australia’s final stage of reopening its borders after previously allowing residents and citizens to fly in November last year, before opening to students, backpackers and skilled migrants in December. The federal government progressively increased travel restrictions from late March 2020 as COVID cases began to rise around the globe.