News

Emirates down-gauges A380 Asia – Australia flights to 777s

Much less popular angle-flat Business Class seats will fly on these routes from January 2019

EK A380 2 (Airbus)

If you’re a regular Emirates traveller you’ll no doubt prefer its Airbus A380 fleet, featuring the airline’s most private Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, not to mention the on-board bar and shower suites in First Class.

You may be aware that you can also travel between Asia and Australia on these aircraft, with an A380 linking Singapore and Melbourne and another serving the Bangkok to Sydney route each evening. Those services are being switched to the smaller Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from early next year however, with the older 2-3-2 angle-flat Business Class seats.

The changes

According to GDS timetables, the following flights will switch from Airbus A380 to Boeing 777-300ER operation:

  • EK404/405 Dubai – Singapore – Melbourne from 2nd November 2018 to 30th November 2018 and from 15th January 2019 onwards.
  • EK418/419 Dubai – Bangkok – Sydney from 15th January 2019 onwards.
EK 777 Overtaking 380 (Mohammadreza Farhadi Aref).jpg
777s will take over from A380s on several Emirates routes. (Photo: M. Aref)

Original announcement by RoutesOnline last week also confirmed this, however at the time the changes for Dubai – Singapore – Melbourne were loaded only up to 30th March 2019. This has now been extended to reflect 777-300ER operation on that route indefinitely.

Additionally the EK404 flight switches to overnight service from Dubai to Singapore with a daytime schedule from Singapore on to Melbourne as of 31st May 2019. Departure from Singapore is at 3.35pm, landing in Melbourne at 12.45am the next day.

Timings on the return service EK405 are unaffected – a 6pm departure from Melbourne arriving in Singapore at 11.50pm, meaning the aircraft will remain on the ground in Melbourne for 17 hours.

This leads us to wonder whether the same crew will operate the aircraft back to Singapore later the same day.

The cabins

If you’re travelling in Business Class on these routes it’s an unfortunate downgrade from a flat-bed 1-2-1 layout on the A380 to the very dated 2-3-2 angle-flat seats still being used by Emirates on the 777-300ER.

EK 77W Business Class (businessclass.se).jpg
A step down from direct aisle access Business Class seats on the A380, the 2-3-2 configuration of the 777. (Photo: businessclass.se)

In First Class you’ll still be able to enjoy the 1-2-1 configured First Class Suites with closing doors as these are all installed on the 3-class 777-300ERs being used for these routes.

EK 77W F (OMAAT).jpg
Emirates First Class on the 777-300ER still features suites with closing doors, however there is no on-board shower. (Photo: One Mile at a Time)

One important feature will be disappearing in this cabin however – the on-board showers.

Shower Suite.jpg
The shower suite on the Emirates A380. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Whether you’re in First or Business Class, you’ll also lose the bar at the back of the plane – a great social feature of the A380.

EK New A380 Bar (Airbus).jpg
No chance of this on Emirates Asia – Australia flights from January 2019 – the on-board bar does not feature on the 777. (Photo: Airbus)

Unfortunately if you were hoping Emirates might bring its brand new First Class cabin with fully enclosed suites on these Boeing 777 services, the timetables reflect operation on aircraft with the older layout.

We have a full review of the new Emirates suites coming up soon, stay tuned for that.

Singapore keeps 2 daily A380s

Despite the downgrade to the 777 on the Singapore – Melbourne rotation, from 15th January 2019 you will still have the option of two A380 departures to Dubai as the EK352/353 switches from from the 777-300ER to the A380.

Until 14th January 2019
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
EK353 SIN0030 – DXB0410 77W Daily
EK405 SIN0120 – DXB0450 388 Daily
EK433 SIN0935 – DXB1300 77W Daily
EK355 SIN2100 – DXB0100* 388 Daily
EK404 DXB0105 – SIN1210 388 Daily
EK354 DXB0315 – SIN1440 388 Daily
EK352 DXB0920 – SIN2055 77W Daily
EK432 DXB2115 – SIN0825* 77W Daily

* next day

From 15th January 2019

Equipment swaps highlighted in yellow.

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
EK353 SIN0030 – DXB0410 388 Daily
EK405 SIN0120 – DXB0450 77W Daily
EK433 SIN0935 – DXB1300 77W Daily
EK355 SIN2100 – DXB0100* 388 Daily
EK404 DXB0105 – SIN1210 77W Daily
EK354 DXB0315 – SIN1440 388 Daily
EK352 DXB0920 – SIN2055 388 Daily
EK432 DXB2115 – SIN0825* 77W Daily

* next day

Singapore – Colombo also ends

In other news the daily link between Singapore and Colombo, which Emirates has been flying for 28 years according to RoutesOnline, will end later this month. GDS shows final service on this route from Colombo to Singapore on 27th October 2018, returning from Singapore to Colombo (and onto Dubai) in the early hours of 28th October 2018.

(Cover Photo: Airbus)

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