Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

UAE's Emirates, Australia's Qantas restructure common flight plan

UAE's Emirates, Australia's Qantas restructure common flight plan

Emirates will abolish most of its flights between Auckland and Brisbane and Melbourne, which will be replaced by Qantas services.

The change comes as demand for the routes increase and the airlines are also committing to provide more options for customers between Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The New Zealand-Australia gap will be filled by Qantas, the airlines said on Thursday as they unveiled more details of their extended partnership, pending Australian regulatory approval.

Qantas and Emirates have finalised a new five-year partnership which was lodged with the competition watchdog on Wednesday.

From March 2018, Emirates will stop flying daily services to the New Zealand city of Auckland via Melbourne and Brisbane and will only continue its non-stop Auckland-Dubai service.

Qantas will launch seven new return flights a week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return flights a week between Brisbane and Auckland under the new arrangement.

Emirates will keep a daily Sydney-Christchurch flight but quit the others between Australia and New Zealand from March, it said in a statement.

President of Emirates airline, Sir Tim Clark, said "Re-authorisation of the partnership will allow us to leverage our combined network strengths to offer customers more flight choices".

The premise of the partnership has always been that we could serve our customers better together.

However, in late August, Qantas said it will stop flying its planes to Dubai as the Australian flagship carrier opted to re-route its daily A380 flights from Sydney via Dubai to London, also known as the "Kangaroo route", via Singapore's Changi Airport instead.

That pullback in seats should be welcomed by Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia, who have a joint-venture on trans-Tasman routes.

According to the airlines, since 2013 more than 8 million passengers have travelled on the joint network, travelling more than 65 billion kilometres. "We wouldn't be extending for another five years if we weren't getting a win out of it and Emirates certainly wouldn't be". The second Sydney - Singapore daily service will continue to be operated by an A330 aircraft.

"Increasingly, it is Qantas driving the Emirates partnership", the CAPA Centre for Aviation wrote in a research note in August.

On average more than 10,000 Emirates passengers have travelled on Qantas' domestic and regional services within Australia each month, increasing to 20,000 during peak periods.

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