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Major airline to resume daily international flights to Adelaide

Direct daily flights from Dubai to Adelaide will recommence in October, with a major international airline returning for the first time since the pandemic hit.

Feb 06, 2024, updated Feb 06, 2024
Adelaide Airport. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Adelaide Airport. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Emirates will resume direct-to-Adelaide flights from October 28, bringing the number of international airlines flying to the South Australian capital to 10.

The move is expected to deliver a $160 million boost in tourism expenditure and freight exports according to the state government, which lauded the relaunch as a “key milestone for South Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery”.

The flights, operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, will open up an extra 14 tonnes of cargo space per flight, totalling 196 tonnes weekly between Dubai and Adelaide and valued at an estimated $98 million per year.

The aircraft can seat 302 people (38 in business class and 264 in economy), meaning 4200 weekly seats between Dubai and Adelaide.

Emirates first launched daily flights to Adelaide Airport in 2012, but cut the route in March 2020 after the declaration of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said the state government through the South Australian Tourism Commission worked closely with Adelaide Airport to reinstate the direct Emirates flights.

“Reinstating Emirates flights to Adelaide has been a key priority for the state government,” he said.

“Emirates ones again flying daily direct into Adelaide will further drive South Australia’s economic growth – set to deliver an estimated $160 million in tourism expenditure and freight exports and create more than 315 full-time tourism-related jobs for South Australians.

“The Emirates service has been very much missed by South Australians – recommencing daily flights will make Adelaide easier to reach from key long-haul markets and make doing business with our state easier.”

Emirates Australasia vice president Barry Brown said the return of Emirates to Adelaide “has been highly anticipated by passengers and industry for some time”.

“We are equally as excited to again service South Australia and provide the state with opportunities across leisure, culture and tourism and support trade growth opportunities through our connection to Dubai and onwards to destinations worldwide.

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“The return of our Adelaide service completes our footprint in Australia serving five points across the country.”

Adelaide Airport managing director Brenton Cox added the resumption of daily flights to Adelaide by Emirates “offers greater competition and choice for travellers, including through Emirates’ code-sharing arrangement with Qantas, connecting through the Middle East to Europe and Africa”.

“Equally it creates significant tourism and wider economic opportunities in attracting international visitors to Adelaide,” Cox said.

Malinauskas has spoken recently of his disappointment that Qantas still does not operate an international route to or from Adelaide. The airline has not offered a direct international flight out of Adelaide since it axed its Adelaide-Singapore route in 2013.

Today, he said that the national carrier was “well aware of our appetite to have them fly directly internationally out of Adelaide”.

“We would love to see it happen and we’re disappointed that it hasn’t, but what we know is the demand is there and there are a suite of international carriers who are interested to meet that demand,” he said.

“It’s impossible for Qantas, forevermore, to ignore the growth of South Australia. We’re the number one performing economy in the nation according to the Commonwealth Bank, so eventually they’re going to have no choice but to recognise that.

“We continue to argue the case with them and we will do so into the future.”

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