Qantas’s focus on building out its hub-busting long-haul network has not weakened its key international partnership with Emirates.
“The partnership always evolved, we’re getting better all the time,” says Qantas group chief executive Alan Joyce. “We’re understanding each other a lot closer than we have ever been. We’re really supportive and a really big fan of the partnership we have with Emirates, and nothing with that has changed.”
This year has seen some major changes in the joint networks of the two carriers, as Qantas stopped operating flights into Dubai in March, moving the stop for its Sydney-London flights to Singapore. It also cancelled its Melbourne-Dubai-London flights, in favour of its Melbourne-Perth-London flight.
Emirates, too, cut a number of tag flights from Australia’s east coast to Auckland, as it focused on its nonstop flights to Dubai.
Asked if the plans to operate more nonstop flights from Perth to Europe, and from 2022 nonstops from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London would impact the relationship, Joyce noted that many passengers would still travel on its codeshare services with Emirates to its wider range of destinations in New Zealand.
Qantas also confirmed that despite signing a codeshare agreement with Air New Zealand to access each others’ domestic networks, there will be no impact on Jetstar’s internal services in New Zealand.
“The Qantas code still remains on Jetstar New Zealand and Jetstar New Zealand is preferenced on like-for-like time basis,” says Jetstar group chief executive Gareth Evans. “Having said that the vast majority of Jetstar New Zealand passengers are point-to-point anyway, so they are insulated.”