Qantas will add more services from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland from March 2018, as alliance partner Emirates cuts back on its transtasman tag flights.
The Oneworld carrier says it will add new daily return services on the Melbourne-Auckland route, and an additional two weekly services between Brisbane and Auckland. The new services will be operated with a mix of Boeing 737s and Airbus A330s, and will help to back-fill some of the capacity lost by Emirates’ decision to cut its daily A380 services on the same routes.
Emirates will codeshare on the additional flights, but adds that it will place its focus on its daily nonstop services from Dubai to Auckland. It is also “evaluating potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai.”
The latest move follows Emirates’ cancellation of its Sydney-Auckland tag services in July, which saw Qantas also increase capacity on that route.
As a condition of their alliance approval, the carriers have to jointly operate a minimum amount of capacity on the transtasman market.
Following the latest changes, FlightGlobal schedules show that Emirates’ only transtasman flight will be its daily Sydney-Christchurch services, which are operated by A380s.
The carriers say that the changes have been included in their joint submission to New Zealand and Australian competition authorities seeking an extension to their alliance until 2023.
“Reauthorisation of the partnership will allow us to leverage our combined network strengths to offer customers even more flight choices and reciprocal benefits for our millions of frequent flyer members,” says Emirates president Tim Clark.