Qantas and Emirates Expand Flying Partnership

20th Apr 2015

The partnership between two carriers began two years ago and has carried over two million codeshare passengers between them.

According to Mr. Clark, since the arrangement is going so well, he sees no reason why it should not continue.

He also said that:

"As long as Alan Joyce (Qantas chief exec) is there and I'm here at Emirates and the Emirates team is working closely together with Qantas it will be a continuation."

What the CEO of Emirates would like to see, however, are more A380s bound for Australia.

Currently, the two carriers operate 98 flights between Australia and Dubai with Qantas also flying two times per day to London. Once Emirates replaces one of it Boeing 777 services to Perth with A380s in May, there should be seven flights per day with the superjumbo.

Speaking about the need for more A380s, Clark said:

"Getting onto any of our Australian aircraft, you've got to be heroic to get a seat because we just don't seem to have any. We need more A380s going to Australia."

International chief executive for Qantas Gareth Evans explained earlier that the partnership has led to some good things for passengers. He especially pointed out the integrated network and the chance to earn and redeem frequent flyer points.

What Could Halt This Move?

Before Qantas and Emirates can expand their partnership however, they will need to get a green light from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Qantas is already waiting for their decision regarding the arrangement with China Eastern. The final decision regarding this should happen on 31st August. The problem here is that ACCC is against this deal and says it could lead to Qantas and China Eastern having a monopoly on the Sydney-Shanghai route.

The Tourism and Transport Forum however found that the Commission's preliminary draft was contrary to the "spirit of hard work put into developing ties with China." The TTF also explained that China is a crucial market for Australia and its tourism.

Recently, however, other destinations such as U.S. and Canada are getting more visitors and the link with China is slowing down. About this, the TTF said:

"The slowdown reinforces what we already know: potential tourist will not visit Australia just because we are hearing. We must continue to make travel to our shores quicker and easier. One significant step toward increasing visitation from China would be improved access to the second tier and third tier Chines cities that this partnership would have provided through China Eastern's domestic Chinese network along with more frequent services to key hubs like Shanghai.

ACCC's findings were also criticized as "overly focused" on what the two airliners could do if it was unconditionally authorized according to the Australian and International Pilots Association.

AIPA said:

"In summary, AIPA believes that the draft determination leans far too heavily on what is 'possible' rather what is actually 'likely' in the context of authorization by the Australian and Chinese governments. We also believe that appropriate conditions can be developed that would allow the proposed conduct to be authorized."

Right now, Qantas flies to more than 70 destinations in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, while Emirates fly to over 50 destinations in Australia.