Emirates is set to restore non-stop flights between Auckland and Dubai and bring its A380 superjumbos back to the country with transtasman flights between Christchurch and Sydney later this year.
While the airline is not confirming the move, the routes show up on its booking site.
The non-stop flights and the return of A380s would be welcomed by travellers and bring more competition across the Tasman. The airline's flights between Auckland and Dubai have flown via Kuala Lumpur since non-stop flights were suspended.
''Like any commercial airline, Emirates matches capacity to demand. Any confirmed plans to deploy A380s on our routes will be announced at the appropriate time," an airline spokesperson said.
Services to Auckland and Christchurch fell from 21 a week before the pandemic to nine a week last year, with just four of those being passenger flights and the rest freight-only. It has since rebuilt its schedule although it is still well below its pre-Covid capacity and the airline's website shows it will continue to use Boeing 777s on the Auckland route instead of A380s.
The changes come into place in early November in line with the traditional change of scheduling to match the move into the Northern Hemisphere winter.
Earlier this week the airline said it would boost services to New Zealand to six a week from this weekend.
Emirates has been flying from Dubai four times a week. But from March 28, flights will depart from Auckland to Dubai every day except Sunday and from Dubai to Auckland every day except Saturday.
The Dubai-based airline - the world's largest long-haul carrier pre-Covid - grounded its entire fleet for a time last April but has been restoring its network with the aim of getting all its planes on routes by the end of the year.
Meanwhile capacity continues to be choppy for all airlines.
Analysts OAG say capacity continues to grow in some markets without there really being any logical explanation, chief executive confidence across US airlines continues to grow, there are rumours of transatlantic corridors for the northern summer, and there are warnings around extended travel bans in Europe. Meanwhile, Japan is confirming there will be no international visitors for the summer Olympics while there is complete confusion around the vaccine rollout in Europe.
Scheduled airlines' capacity crept forward by another 1.4 per cent to 59.8 million seats, however OAG says seats can be cut quickly.
At the beginning of March scheduled airlines were planning 309 million seats for April; this week that is 284 million - so nine per cent of capacity is being cut less than eight weeks before the scheduled date of operation.