The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, looks set to disappear from Brisbane skies later this year, with Emirates replacing its services with Boeing 777s from June.
But the Dubai-based airline said the move, which would disappoint the city’s band of plane-watchers, might be only temporary.
The A380 services between Brisbane, Dubai and Auckland were introduced with much fanfare in 2013, six years after the giant double-decker planes entered into regular services.
But an Emirates spokesman confirmed the 489-seat A380 would be replaced by the smaller, 354-seat Boeing 777 on the airline’s Brisbane routes later this year.
“Emirates can confirm that we will be deploying a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on EK434 and EK435, between Brisbane and Dubai, from June until end of August 2018,” he said.
“…Emirates remains committed to the market with 21 weekly flights, including a recently-introduced third daily flight which was added in December 2017.”
Fairfax Media understands the likelihood of other airlines flying regular A380 services in and out of Brisbane is negligible.
While the A380s will no longer be seen over Brisbane, a familiar airline is set to make a long-awaited return.
Malaysia Airlines will recommence services between Brisbane and Kuala Lumpur after a three-year absence in June.
Malaysia Airlines flights in and out of Brisbane will recommence on June 6 on Airbus A330 aircraft.
“We are delighted to welcome Malaysia Airlines back into the Brisbane Airport family as these flights will further enhance Brisbane’s global reach, providing a convenient, direct connection to Kuala Lumpur, a thriving international hub,” Brisbane Airport Corporation chief executive Julieanne Alroe said.
“Via Kuala Lumpur, passengers will have access to Malaysia Airlines’ extensive network including India, south-east Asia and the UK.
“Additionally these flights are expected to bring more than 60,000 international visitors to Queensland each year, many of which will travel onwards to some of Australia’s most desirable tourist destinations via Brisbane Airport’s comprehensive regional network of any airport in Australia.”
Malaysia Airlines chief executive Izham Ismail said the airline was “very excited” about its return to the Brisbane market.
“Brisbane is strategically placed, in close proximity to many of Queensland’s tourist destinations, which will facilitate our growth plans focusing on key business and leisure cities,” he said.
“Malaysia Airlines has had a long presence in Queensland since the commencement of our operations into Brisbane on 31st October 1990.
“We are happy to be returning to Brisbane offering convenient connections on Malaysia Airline’s global network.”