Emirates will use Airbus A380s between New Zealand and Dubai five times daily from the end of October with the introduction of the airline's double-decker aircraft on Christchurch services.

Emirates will be the first airline to offer regular scheduled A380 services to and from Christchurch with the upgrade of the current daily Christchurch service from Boeing 777-300ERs.

The new service will mean the removal of the en-route stop in Bangkok which will enable passengers to travel all the way between Christchurch and Dubai, with just one stop in Sydney.

The launch of the Christchurch A380 flights will coincide with the introduction of the A380 on Emirates' daily non-stop route between Auckland and Dubai. It is currently the longest flight in the world.


Emirates currently also operates three other daily A380 services between Auckland and Dubai and beyond via Australian eastern cities.

The surge in capacity and the arrival of new airlines is helping fuel a price war to and from New Zealand. Advance fares to Europe are now under $1400 and seat-only prices as low as $189 to Malaysia.

From February Emirates will face competition to the Middle East from Qatar Airways.

The new Christchurch-Dubai service will cut the journey time to Dubai and Europe by about two hours in each direction.

At the same time, the Auckland A380 service flying via Sydney will fly on to Bangkok.

Emirates is the biggest customer for the A380 and the only airline offering year-round scheduled A380 services to and from New Zealand. Singapore Airlines has used A380s on seasonal services.

The A380s on New Zealand routes have 14 first class suites, 76 individual compartments in business and 399 seats in Economy.

This will add hundreds more seats a week with the Boeing 777-300 on the Christchurch route having 354 seats and the 777-200 with 266 seats.