After a long-anticipated wait, Emirates is returning to Adelaide from later this year. It’ll mark the first time that the Gulf carrier has served the capital of South Australia since the country’s international travel restrictions were wound back. Emirates is also upgrading its flights to Brisbane, flying more often from Perth, and bringing newer seating to Melbourne.

As well, Emirates’ Brisbane lounge is once again welcoming the airline’s passengers after a prolonged closure and refurbishment. Here’s what’s happening with Qantas’ main airline partner in the Middle East.

Emirates comes back to Adelaide

From 28 October 2024, Emirates will once again serve Adelaide with direct flights to and from Dubai. Services will run daily, and are timed to optimise connections between Australia and Europe.

Previously, Emirates served Adelaide with the three-class Boeing 777-300ER. This time, flights will run on the Boeing 777-200LR instead. Passengers in Economy won’t really notice a change – but there are noticeable differences up front.

Compared to Emirates’ ‘ER’ (Extended Range) jets, the airline’s refurbished ‘LR’ (Long Range) planes come without First Class. Instead, Business Class takes pride of place at the front of the plane. And for that matter, unlike many of Emirates’ other Boeing 777s, the LRs flying to Adelaide don’t have the unfortunate middle seat. This sees the Business Class cabin using a 2-2-2 layout instead.

Certainly, it’s not as advantageous as a 1-2-1 layout, as you’d find in Business Class on Emirates’ Airbus A380s. But if you’re flying solo, allow me to recommend a seat in the centre pair. Given the design, this allows you to enjoy direct access to the aisle without a seatmate stepping over you – because your neighbour has their own aisle to use. I’ve previously flown this cabin between Dubai and São Paulo, and this strategy served me well.

Don’t forget too, you can book Emirates flights using Qantas Points – as well as by using Skywards miles.

This is great news for our customers who will once again benefit from Emirates’ extensive global network via Dubai. It offers greater competition and choice for travellers, including through Emirates’ code-sharing arrangement with Qantas, connecting through the Middle East to Europe and Africa. Equally it creates significant tourism and wider economic opportunities in attracting international visitors to Adelaide.

We’re delighted that Emirates will immediately return to daily services – the same as pre-COVID frequencies – which is a real sign of confidence in the Adelaide market. The widebody Boeing 777-200LR aircraft also creates improved air freight export opportunities for our local producers to Middle Eastern and European markets.

– Brenton Cox, Adelaide Airport Managing Director, February 2024

Also read: Adelaide Airport plans for more lounges and flights

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More Emirates flights for Perth, upgraded aircraft for Melbourne and Brisbane

Speaking of extra flights for Australia, Emirates is also restoring its second daily service between Perth and Dubai. That’ll come back online from 1 December 2024, served by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER. It joins the existing daily Airbus A380 flight from the WA capital.

There’s also good news for Brisbane, with the city’s existing second daily Emirates service to Dubai switching to an Airbus A380. This change happens from 1 October 2024 – replacing the Boeing 777-300ER currently in use. Given Brisbane’s other daily Emirates flight is already an Airbus A380, it’ll make Brisbane an all-superjumbo destination for Emirates.

Emirates Airbus A380
From later this year, every Emirates flight from Brisbane will be served by the Airbus A380.

In fact, for the trivia buffs, Emirates is the only airline with regularly scheduled Airbus A380 flights from Brisbane. And it’ll be the first time that Emirates has run the Airbus A380 twice-daily from Brisbane to Dubai. Many years back, Emirates did have two daily A380 departures from Brisbane – but while one was bound for Dubai, the other hopped across to Auckland. Emirates no longer offers direct Brisbane-Auckland flights, but does sell codeshare seats aboard its local partner Qantas.

And then, there’s Melbourne, where Emirates now offers Premium Economy on two of its daily departures. You’ll now find this better-than-Economy cabin on all direct flights between Melbourne and Dubai. The carrier also runs a Melbourne-Singapore-Dubai service using its Boeing 777, although this doesn’t currently offer Premium Economy.

Reviewed: Emirates Airbus A380 Premium Economy (Sydney – Dubai)

Emirates’ Brisbane lounge returns

Last but certainly not least, Emirates’ dedicated lounge in Brisbane is once again welcoming travellers. The exclusive space, nestled across the entirety of the floor above Brisbane’s eastern departure concourse, is packed with nifty features. And the frequent flyer favourite tends to be direct boarding from the lounge to the plane.

It’s not guaranteed for every Emirates flight – it relies on the aircraft being able to park at the appropriate gate. But when it works, it’s blissful being able to stroll from your seat in the lounge to your seat on the plane, without setting foot back along the main concourse.

Emirates’ refurbished lounge offers 183 seats – and from what I’m told, a brand-new air-conditioning system to keep up with the Brisbane heat. Access is provided to Emirates’ First Class and Business Class passengers, except those booked on Business Class Special fares. (That restriction is only for that paid fare type. Access is available when flying Emirates Business Class or First Class on all Classic Reward points redemptions).

Entry is also available to Gold members and above of both Qantas Frequent Flyer and Emirates Skywards. This applies when lounge entry isn’t otherwise provided by the ticket – and is one way of accessing the lounge on a Business Class Special fare, or when flying Economy. Qantas Club members have no access here, but may be able to visit Brisbane’s Qantas International Lounge if opening hours align when departing on a QF codeshare flight number.

Emirates continues to serve Sydney, with flights available to both Dubai and Christchurch. The carrier is also planning to enhance its lounge offering at Australia’s biggest airport, subject to negotiations with Sydney Airport.

Read more: Emirates eyes all-new Sydney Airport lounge

All images courtesy of Emirates.

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Emirates returns to Adelaide; upgrades flights to Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth was last modified: February 8th, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin