Bringing an end to long standing rumours, Qantas and Emirates today announced an extensive cooperation agreement – initially aimed at a term of 10 years.
The agreement, subject to regulatory approval, and planned to commence in the next IATA Summer season (April 2013) will see a broad range of initiatives to integrate the two airlines’ networks, pricing, sales as well as a ‘benefit-sharing model’ in the subject regions.
The key elements of the cooperation will include
- Codesharing of the two airlines’ flights between Australia and Europe, and Southeast Asia
- Qantas moving its hub for European flights to Dubai, from Singapore
- Qantas to withdraw its flights to Frankfurt
- Qantas to launch daily each Sydney – Dubai – London Heathrow and Melbourne – Dubai – London Heathrow services on board Airbus A380 equipment
- Qantas to gain access to Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3, becoming the only foreign carrier to be able to do so
- 17 year old Joint Business Agreement with British Airways to be terminated effective 31st March 2013
- Codeshare agreements with Air France to Paris, and Cathay Pacific to Rome, to be terminated
- Qantas’ Asian services to be re-timed to offer more intra-Asia connectivity options as opposed to Asia – Europe connectivity
- Frequent flyer programmes to be integrated, allowing members of each programme to earn points on the other airline
- The two airlines to cooperatively operate 14 daily services between Australia and Dubai
There will be no equity exchange between the two airlines. The agreement will see Qantas gaining access to over 70 of Emirates’ Europe, Africa & Middle East destinations and Emirates will gain access to Qantas’ extensive domestic network of over 50 destinations.
The move comes in the wake of Emirates’s arch-rival Etihad Airways strengthening its similar strategic partnership with Qantas’ arch-rival Virgin Australia, after increasing Etihad’s ownership in Virgin Australia.