Emirates launched its second daily double decker A380 service across the Tasman yesterday, saying it was confident of continued growth in the New Zealand market.
The aircraft replaced a 777-300ER aircraft on the Auckland-Melbourne-Dubai route, adding another 135 seats. The superjumbo joins another used on the Dubai route via Sydney since 2009.
Emirates' senior vice-president for commercial operations for the Far East and Australasia, Salem Obaidalla, said the bigger aircraft was put on the route because it was more efficient and demand was there.
The airline also flies from Auckland via Brisbane but there were no plans to bring in a third A380.
"The market is a growing market. We don't have a plan to bring in another A380, but if the demand is there ..."
Auckland Airport company chairwoman Joan Withers said the bigger aircraft was a welcome addition to Emirates services and was a vindication of the airport's decision to plan for A380s a decade ago.
While the airport did not have a third double decker airbridge this was being discussed and it could cope with staggered services.
Emirates and struggling Qantas have plans for a global aviation partnership which the airlines say will give travellers more choice of destinations flying to Europe via Dubai and allow them to share frequent flyer benefits.
Emirates is into its 10th year of flying into New Zealand and investment in this market has totalled over $750 million.