Emirates is set to add a second daily return service from Brisbane to Dubai from 1 June 2023.
The additional capacity provided by 777-300ERs means that the airline will return to operating at pre-pandemic levels in the Queensland capital.
Flight EK 430 will take off from Dubai at 0230hrs and arrive in Brisbane at 2220hrs. The return flight, EK 431, will leave Brisbane at 0250hrs and arrive in Dubai at 1100hrs local time.
Emirates currently serves Brisbane with one daily A380 flight.
Acting Queensland Premier Steven Miles said “The extra service is estimated to provide an additional 730 direct and indirect jobs for the state.
“Emirates’ extensive worldwide network to over 130 destinations will ensure a high level of connectivity with the United Kingdom, Europe, Scandinavia, Africa and North America.”
The expansion was secured with the help of a $200 million state government fund to encourage aviation investment and will result in Emirates providing 12,000 seats per week to Brisbane in total.
The news comes after the chief executive of Sydney Airport recently called on international airlines to operate more flights to boost Australia’s struggling tourism sector.
Geoff Culbert said that while international travel is “ticking up”, numbers are still “lagging behind pre-pandemic levels” due to a lack of capacity.
Australian Aviation has been reporting for months on the discrepancy between the two recoveries.
The latest set of data released by the Department of Transport for instance shows how the number of international seats for sale — or capacity — is down 45 per cent on pre-pandemic numbers industry-wide.
It has meant that international flights are now jam-packed, with 90 per cent of seats full, in what is likely to be one of the highest occupancy rates in history.
The knock-on effect has been that tourists are failing to return to Australia in great numbers, despite months without COVID-19 restrictions.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show there were 370,000 “short-term overseas arrivals” in September 2022 compared to 695,000 in September 2019.
However, across the 2021–2022 financial year, just 18 per cent of those listed their reason for coming to the country as being to holiday, compared to 56 per cent who cited visiting friends or relatives.
The data appears to corroborate the observation made by Adelaide Airport’s MD, Brenton Cox, on the Australian Aviation Podcast.