Dubai To Become New International Hub For Qantas European Operations
By Pritha Dey
Emirates and Qantas announced a new global aviation partnership that will give customers a seamless international and Australian network, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and world-class travel experiences.
Under the agreement signed this morning by Emirates President Tim Clark and Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, Qantas will move its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai and enter an extensive commercial relationship with Emirates.
The 10 year codesharing partnership is enhanced by integrated network collaboration with coordinated pricing, sales and scheduling as well as a benefits sharing model. Neither airline will take equity in the other.
The partnership will see Qantas, along with anchor tenant Emirates, as the only other airline operating at Dubai International’s Terminal 3. The two airlines will jointly offer 98 weekly services between Australia and the global gateway city of Dubai including four daily A380 flights. With Emirates flying the largest fleet of A380s in the world with 23, combined with Qantas’ 12 A380s for a total of 35, many onward flights to Europe including London Paris, Moscow, Amsterdam, Munich and Rome will also be on this popular aircraft . In addition, Qantas will launch daily A380 services from both Sydney and Melbourne to London via Dubai for a combined unprecedented seven daily A380 flights to London Heathrow. Thirty additional European gateways can be seamlessly reached from Australia via Dubai.
For Emirates customers it will open up Qantas’ Australian domestic network of more than 50 destinations and nearly 5,000 flights per week. The carriers will also coordinate their respective trans-Tasman services between Australia and New Zealand with Emirates offering improved schedules for flights to Christchurch and Auckland – including the introduction of Emirates’ daily A380 services on the Melbourne-Auckland route in October.
Emirates and Qantas frequent flyer agreements will be aligned, giving customers expanded opportunities to earn and redeem points, with reciprocal access to tier status benefits including end-to-end recognition of customers, lounge access, priority check-in and boarding as well as other exclusive services.
“The time was right for developing a long term, future forward partnership with Qantas, the iconic Australian airline,” said Tim Clark, President of Emirates. “Since our first flights began in 1996, Australia has long been a popular destination for Emirates leisure and business travellers, making it one of the top three destinations in our network.” “By establishing this partnership we are providing our passengers with additional connectivity in Australia and the region and the ability to utilise enhanced frequent flyer benefits and have access to premium lounges for an exceptional travel experience,” he added.
Emirates and Qantas will work together to ensure a seamless customer experience, including mutual lounge access, shared use of Emirates’ unique dedicated A380 facility slated to open in early 2013 in Dubai, coordinated baggage allowances and a chauffeur service for premium customers.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the partnership would deliver unprecedented benefits to Qantas customers and mark a decisive step forward in the Group’s strategy. “Emirates is the ideal partner for Qantas,” Mr Joyce said. “It has a wonderful brand, a modern fleet, an uncompromising approach to quality and it flies to the A-list of international destinations.
“As the world’s biggest international airline, with a network that perfectly complements our own, Emirates will help us give our customers across Australia a dramatically expanded range of travel options. “Together with Emirates, Qantas will provide a unique ‘one stop’ hub service, as well as a deeply integrated frequent flyer and customer proposition.
“The partnership delivers on all four pillars of the Qantas Group’s international strategy: it will see us fly to the global gateway city of Dubai, provide some of the world’s best travel experiences through both Qantas and Emirates, improve our position in Asia through better timed flights and, crucially, help build a strong Qantas International business for the long term, he added.”
The airlines will submit applications for authorization to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and other relevant regulatory authorities, in order to begin commercial planning. Subject to regulatory approvals, it is anticipated that the partnership arrangements will take effect in April 2013.