Qantas and Emirates have received approval for the last major element of their strategic alliance, with New Zealand’s Transport Minister authorising coordination of fares and schedules on trans-Tasman routes.
In approving the arrangement, Minister Gerry Brownlee said the alliance would be beneficial to passengers, exporters and the New Zealand tourism sector.
“Qantas and Emirates will be able to cooperate on passenger and cargo transport operations, and other related services, for an initial period of five years,” Minister Brownlee said.
“Trans-Tasman competition will be maintained through existing carriers on the route and the threat of entry by new carriers. Conditions imposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission require the airlines to maintain at least their pre-alliance aggregate capacity, subject to a review to consider whether increases in the minimum required capacity are warranted.”
Qantas and Emirates operate a combined 129 flights per week between Australia and New Zealand on a mix of 737, A380 and 777 aircraft. The two airlines say the partnership will provide New Zealand passengers with better links to Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the UK, as well as frequent flyer and lounge access benefits.