Emirates is racking up the milestones, celebrating 15 years of operations to Auckland as it marks a decade of flying its Airbus A380s.

Throughout its network the airline has served its first class passengers at least 2.5 million tins of caviar on the superjumbos.

In this country the airline estimates it has carried more than two million passengers to and from Auckland since 2003 when its here entry shook up transtasman and long haul markets.

Emirates began its service to Auckland with daily services via Sydney and Melbourne, later adding Brisbane. In 2009 the airline introduced its A380 aircraft to the route, providing flights between Auckland, Sydney and Emirates' hub, Dubai.


The operations were expanded with the A380 operating all Auckland flights via Melbourne and Brisbane until transtasman flights were withdrawn in March in favour of direct services to Dubai.

Emirates retains its daily A380 non-stop flight from Auckland to Dubai as well as a new daily Boeing 777-300 ER service via Bali. It also flies daily from Christchurch via Sydney to Dubai.

The airline flies up to 55 tonnes of freight from New Zealand a day and in the past three years goods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, pharmaceuticals and equipment carried out of Auckland have added up to 85,000 tonnes.

Emirates is the world's biggest user of A380s, with a list price of $660m and they have proved to be a harder sell for Airbus among other airlines.

Since its first flight to New York from Dubai on August 1, 2008, the Emirates A380 has carried more than 105 million passengers, 10.2 million of them being those travelling to and from New Zealand which is the second highest passenger destination for the A380.

Herald Business Traveller inside first Emirates A380 flight

Overall it's clocked in more than 1.5 billion km on 115,000 flights, equivalent to 39,000 trips around the world.

Emirates has 104 of the 360-tonne double decker planes in its fleet and a further 58 on order, a big factor in Airbus being able to keep the programme going - at reduced production rates.

Emirates A380s carry between 489 and 517 passengers for ultra-long-range and long-range operations in a three-class configuration. It carries 615 in two classes.


Singapore Airlines was the first airline to fly A380s and last month one of its first leased planes found a place in the important second-hand market, with Portuguese wet lease operator Hi Fly taking one of the aircraft last month.