Carrier signs strategic partnership, first phase of which covers Indian Ocean flights

Emirates has signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement with Australian air traffic services provider Airservices Australia, the first phase of which will see the Dubai-based carrier operating flexible routes on its services to Australia.

The partners say they have developed a unique set of operating practices to allow Emirates to select a tailor-made route across the Indian Ocean for every flight to Australia. Rather than following fixed air corridors, flexible routes will allow Emirates to select optimum tracks based on weather patterns and winds, resulting in more efficient flights and reduced fuel burn and emissions.

Airservices and Emirates are discussing other air traffic management projects, including the adoption by the airline of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology. Airservices has committed to a nationwide ADS-B programme above flight level 300 (30,000ft) from late 2005.

Emirates is also discussing joining the Boeing-led tailored arrival procedures project now under way at Sydney and Melbourne airports. The project, which started in April, involves approach information delivered by Airservices via datalink to Qantas Airbus A330-200s and Boeing 747-400s in a trial that promises more efficient arrivals, fuel savings and reduced emissions and noise.

The partnership comes as Emirates rapidly expands its services to Australia and New Zealand. By August the airline will operate 34 flights a week to Australia, including new Airbus A340-500 flights to Melbourne and on to Christchurch.

Meanwhile, Airservices this month took over management of the upper airspace of the Pacific island of Nauru. From Brisbane, Airservices will provide air traffic and financial management services in the Nauruan flight information region above 24,500ft (7,500m) for 10 years. The contract was previously held by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Thales has won a contract from Airservices to upgrade the functionality of the Thales-based Australian Advanced Air Traffic System.



Source: Flight International