Dublin: Emirates will start direct daily Airbus A380 services on the world’s longest non-stop route from Dubai to Auckland in New Zealand in December 2016, airline president Tim Clark said on Thursday.
The Dubai-based carrier started direct services to Auckland on March 1 having already served the city on connecting flights through Australia.
“We’ve switched over to Auckland non-stop, that will be an A380 in December,” Clark told reporters in Dublin at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meet.
Emirates launched the inaugural service to Auckland with a one-off A380 flight and has since operated the route with a 266 seat Boeing 777-200LR (long range).
Clark said he was very happy with the route's performance, which he said has consistently operated at above 85 per cent load factor, a measurement for how many seats filled on an aircraft.
The A380 to Auckland will be three-classes and have 489 seats, Clark said. Emirates also operates two-class A380s.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380 with 79 in its fleet today and plans to take delivery of 17 more this year from a total order of 141, Clark said earlier.