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Qantas and Emirates announce network changes

Posted 11 October 2017 · Add Comment

Qantas and Emirates have announced additional network changes under the joint partnership which provide customers with greater year round frequency and more services between Australia and New Zealand.

These changes reflect customer demand and the airlines’ respective network strengths and provide more options for customers to travel between Australia and New Zealand to Asia, the UK/Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Enhanced trans-Tasman connectivity

From March 2018, Emirates will stop flying from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland and instead focus on its non-stop Auckland-Dubai service. Emirates will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney, and the airline is also evaluating potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai.

At the same time, to provide greater choice across the Tasman, Qantas will increase the frequency of its services between the two countries, adding seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return services per week between Brisbane and Auckland. Some of these services will be up-gauged from a 737 to a wide-body A330.

Qantas’ new trans-Tasman services will carry Emirates code and will connect seamlessly to Qantas’ London services via Perth or Singapore and Emirates’ services between Australia and Europe via Dubai.

Customers flying between Australia and New Zealand, particularly business travellers, will benefit from the improved schedule choice.

The changes also enable Emirates to reschedule its Australia flights to create a better spread of departure times throughout the day, offering customers more choice when connecting and arriving in to the 38 European and 28 Middle East and North African destinations served by the airline’s popular A380 and 777 aircraft.ᶺ

These latest changes are included in the airlines’ application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and New Zealand Minister of Transport for the extension of authorisation for the airlines’ joint business for another five years.

The airlines’ joint submission also includes, as previously announced, Qantas’ re-routing of its Sydney-London service via Singapore rather than Dubai and Emirates’ new, fourth daily A380 Sydney-Dubai service.

President of Emirates airline, Sir Tim Clark, said the first five years of the partnership has been a success.

“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.

“It will enable us to continue developing world-class customer experiences, and contribute to stimulating increased opportunities for international trade, tourism and commerce.”

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce said the network changes outlined in the airlines’ submission to the regulators provide even more options for customers. 

“Since 2013 we have delivered more choice and a larger network to eight million passengers who have travelled more than 65 billion kilometres on our joint network. 

“We are now enhancing the partnership to reflect customer demand, new aircraft technology and our respective network strengths.

“The premise of the partnership has always been that we could serve our customers better together. That’s certainly been true for the past five years and now we’re evolving our joint network so we can serve them even better for the next five.”

Analyst Saj Ahmad said: “By ending flights between Melbourne/Brisbane to Auckland, Emirates will benefit from reduced costs while customers will be able to better and seamlessly connect on Qantas on journeys to New Zealand.

“This frees up airplanes for Emirates to instead launch its own direct Dubai-New Zealand flights as well as complement its connectivity via Qantas through services across Australia.

“This de-risks Emirates’ exposure because in the past, it would have been directly competing with Qantas to vie for that same trans-Tasman and New Zealand traffic whereas now, they can hone in on operation synergies, reduce direct competition and harness the benefits of a more interconnected network where Qantas flies between Australia and New Zealand using their own airplanes.

Ahmad added:  “Equally, traffic from New Zealand can better connect with Qantas and then Emirates for flights to Dubai and the wider GCC – a market not served by Qantas or even Air New Zealand itself – so the potential to leverage the strength of Emirates own regional network and also by extension through partner flydubai will better serve customers flying out of New Zealand that currently have no direct options to get to the GCC.”

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