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Qantas says Emirates partnership paying off

written by WOFA | April 1, 2014

Qantas says the QF & EK partnership is paying off for regional centres. (Rob Finlayson)
Qantas says the QF & EK partnership is paying off for regional centres. (Rob Finlayson)

Qantas has announced that its partnership with Emirates Airline is paying off one year after it was launched, with inbound tourism data showing increasing passenger numbers for Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

In the last 12 months Qantas says over one million passengers have used the codesharing alliance to fly through Dubai and onwards to more than 65 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

It also says the partnership has made it easier for Emirates passengers to book on Qantas domestic services, and that regional cities in particular are benefitting.

“The partnership with Emirates has opened up 32 destinations on the Qantas domestic network, making travel to and within Australia easy for visitors and providing tourism operators with new opportunities from international tourists visiting the country,” Qantas International CEO Simon Hickey said.

“Outside our city gateways, international customers have purchased an average of five times more fares to the top regional centres including Cairns and Hobart than under our previous partnership arrangements for Europe, and we have seen a significant increase in bookings for new codeshare destinations including Alice Springs, Darwin and Townsville.”

Still, comments by Emirates Airline president, the newly-knighted Sir Tim Clark, suggest the alliance is yet to reach its full potential.

“The partnership is doing what we thought it would do,” Sir Tim told British newspaper The Telegraph in a March 22 interview.


“It hasn’t helped that they have had problems. When that happens to a relatively small group, there are other things that fall slightly by the wayside.

“I’m not saying for a moment that Alan [Joyce] has let our relationship between the two companies and the endgame . . . slip, it’s just that he has got quite a tough situation on his hands.”

The paper reported that earlier in March Clark had visited Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in Sydney for their “first get-together of any real flesh” since the alliance launched.

That alliance operates 98 flights a week from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to Dubai and on to more than 65 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Of those Qantas operates daily Sydney-Dubai-London (QF1/QF2) and Melbourne-Dubai-London (QF9/10) flights with A380s.




    Could a Emirates Dubai-Singapore-Darwin-Carins route with their a332’s work at all, it is a long shot but it would be great to see more foreign carriers here in the north.

  • Ante C


    This is all great for Qantas now, but when the ten years is up, they could be in strife. This partnership has allowed Emirates, the biggest airline in the world, with masses of money, into Australia, which could hurt QF after the Cathay, China Southern etc) to add more capacity in Australia to compete. This could leave Qantas in a really bad situation.

  • Stu Bee


    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Emirates looking into a Darwin and/or Cairns service in the future…

  • Glen CBR


    ANY international flights to/from Canberra are long overdue and greatly anticipated. Qantas is shrinking (and serving Canberra more by QantasLink aircraft than ever before) and can’t be expected to be a trailblazer in he CBR market. However, I’m sure Qantas would almost certainly be happy for Emirates to fly Dubai (or Singapore or Hong Kong) to Canberra and on to New Zealand – as they are for Emirates to fly from Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane.
    It’s the only way Qantas would be able to short-circuit any proposed entry (into the Canberra market) by Singapore Airlines/Air New Zealand or some other bold operator.

  • Dave


    I’m not convinced. I don’t really see how this benefits Qantas.
    In this alliance, Europe is basically served by Emirates with Qantas having two flights a day, one from SYD and another from MEL. Flying to Europe from any other city is now fully with Emirates.

    Take Perth for example. You used to be able to fly Qantas all the way via Singapore. Now the route is on Emirates via Dubai. But its also led to Qantas no longer having enough pax on in Singapore flight from Perth, so they’re pulling out of that too and now Qantas doesnt fly any international routes at all from PER. Next they terminate the codeshare with South African to Johannesburg, saying that the alliance route is on Emirates via Dubai. It took no time at all for Virgin to jump in with services to Perth connecting with SAA to Joburg. As a passenger which would you prefer, MEL-DXB-JHB or MEL-PER-JHB? I dont see how that works for QF.

    Sure, you can fly on one of those two Dubai/London flights if you live in Syd or Mel, and yeah you get to connect to anywhere with Emirates from there. Qantas feeding into Emirates surely helps emirates more than it helps QF. And wouldnt the Oneworld alliance do the same job via Hong Kong on Cathay, Doho on Qatar, on BA or on Iberia? How about start flying to Kuala Lumpur to connect with Malaysia Airlines European services, also part of Oneworld. Are those eastern european destinations really so important to serve from Dubai rather than Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur.

    No wonder they’ve knighted Tim Clark, he’s managed to get Qantas passengers onto his planes paying his fares. Qantas tells us how good it is, but I dont see it. I’m going to Finland later this year, Cathay and Finnair via HKG it is, can’t go with QF and Finnair via Singapore anymore. (Flying with Qantas alliance partners out of their own home country!)

  • Dee


    I agree with you Dave in most of your thinking, QF International is shrinking, and the Dubai connection is not a plus for Qantas, the only benefit I see is more PAX on the Domestic Arm of the Company. Maybe Managements 60% domestic line in the sand is all they are worried about, but me thinks that the Dubai sand will be the big worry in the near future, I picture the Red Roo 738’s with colorful striped tails further down the track. I’ll stick with CX and VA.

  • John


    Obviously Qantas had to do something re their European services, once Virgin Australa signed its deal with Etihad!
    Qantas could never sustain a range of European destinations over Singapore, even f it could have got traffic rights.
    However agree with Dave, a deal with one world partner Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong would have been a better option, as Qantas already flys daily to Hong Kong from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
    With the feed from Qantas, this would have helped Cathay to start some new destinations in Europe, as it too is feeling the heat from the Gulf Carriers in terms of Australia to Europe traffic!
    Unfortunately with Jetstar Hong Kong in the works, don’t think Cathay and Qantas were on terms to do a deal?

  • Jason


    Dave I think you are on the right track. I can see the undoing of the airline in the delegated international alliance strategy. International ops will become a token offering and the airline bargaining alliances based almost solely on their frequent flyer core business. Emirates is not a friend. There are no friends in business. I would imagine Sir Tim is requesting additional concessions from the partnership as we speak. All that needs to be used as a very strong bargaining tool is the potential dissolution of the relationship.

    Why buy more aircraft if your alliance partners can carry your passengers for less? The seeds of destruction are contained therein.

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