Emirates has called time on its transtasman services from Auckland on its A380 superjumbo, a plane with showers and a bar for those travelling upstairs.

The biggest long-haul airline in the world brought unseen glitz for those up top for the short hop to Australia. Downstairs in economy there was a roomy cabin and lots of seat space, especially when the plane wasn't full.

And that was the problem for the giant from Dubai.

Operating the biggest commercial plane in the world on such a short hop with light loads didn't add up.

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Its low frequency didn't help but neither did the surge in competition over the past five years.

Its direct service from Auckland to Dubai since last March (followed by non-stop flights by arch-rival Qatar to Doha) hastened the end of Emirates' transtasman services from Auckland.

An Emirates A380 Airbus jumbo liner. Emirates' commercial partner Qantas will fly more frequently across the Tasman to partly fill the gap. Photo / Supplied
An Emirates A380 Airbus jumbo liner. Emirates' commercial partner Qantas will fly more frequently across the Tasman to partly fill the gap. Photo / Supplied

Its long-haul passengers chose in big numbers to do the 17-hour non-stop flight - why add another two to three hours with a stop in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane?

The airline will keep that direct flight and daily A380 from Christchurch to Sydney services and that's good news. So too its likely continued commitment to Team New Zealand.

One of Emirates' founders, and long-time president Sir Tim Clark, says route planners will also assess the viability of another non-stop flight from Auckland.

Although Emirates has been on a rapid growth trajectory since being founded in 1985, there's no time frame on a decision to start another flight here as the airline deals with how to modify its business model to make money in other parts the world.

Emirates' commercial partner Qantas will fly more frequently across the Tasman to partly fill the gap and that's great news - frequency counts and the Australian airline is popular with business travellers too.

But two flights between Auckland and Brisbane a week on a Qantas plane with as few as 170 seats is a drop in the bucket compared to the daily Emirates A380 with around 500 seats.

There are 120 flights a day across the Tasman and more than 10 million seats on offer. For airlines the 2150km stretch of water has been described at times as a "bloodbath" or extremely tough. Clark says the Tasman had got a bit "flakey".

Qantas estimates Emirates' pullback from next March will result in more than 300,000 fewer seats a year on the transtasman.

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon has this year been predicting more rational decision-making by airlines. The Emirates move is an example of that, as was American Airlines' call to fly less between Los Angeles and Auckland next year.

Although fans of the Emirates transtasman bar may have been crying into their beer last night, among the other nine carriers on the Tasman there would have been some celebration.

Pressure on their yields has eased a bit. Laws of economics dictate lower supply usually means higher prices if demand remains the same. Airlines don't always adhere to those principles but base fares aren't going to be falling as fast.

There will always be deals for passengers if your travel time is flexible but the loss of the big planes from Auckland to Australia is bad news for travellers.