Emirates set to launch trans-Tasman flights

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(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

Emirates will begin taking bookings for flights between Australia and New Zealand from August 14 as the next stage of its historic code share agreement with Qantas.

It will be the first time Emirates has been able to book passengers on the competitive trans-Tasman flights without an onwards booking.

The route has been dominated by Australian and New Zealand carriers.

The New Zealand government granted Emirates and Qantas regulatory approval to operate trans-Tasman flights under a code-sharing arrangement in May, more than a month after the airlines launched their historic new partnership.

Together the airlines will operate about 130 services per week from Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown to Australian east coast cities.

Passengers will also be able to connect onto more than 65 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

Qantas executive manager of international sales Stephen Thompson said the partnership would benefit New Zealand travellers and tourism.

“New Zealand was part of the Qantas-Emirates vision from the start and since receiving government approval in May our teams have been working hard towards switching the partnership on,” Thompson said.

“From mid-August New Zealanders will be able to take full advantage of the network, lounges and frequent flyer opportunities available with Qantas and Emirates, tapping into a comprehensive trans-Tasman schedule and a vast range of international destinations.

“The partnership is also good news for inbound tourism, with both airlines selling New Zealand’s world-class tourism attractions around the world. Wellington and Queenstown are likely to benefit considerably, as these are Qantas destinations that Emirates will now offer to their global customer base for the first time.”

Emirates divisional senior vice president of commercial operations east Barry Brown said the new flights would increase Emirates’ capacity.

“The trans-Tasman link is a key piece of the Emirates-Qantas jigsaw and further strengthens what we can deliver to passengers under the partnership,” Brown said.

“From New Zealand, we will now be able to offer travel out of Wellington and Queenstown, in addition to Auckland and Christchurch. Overall, weekly departures from New Zealand will go from 28 to over 140, jointly reaching 55 points in Australia, and of course, onwards to our magnificent hub in Dubai.”

New Zealand customers also will be able to use or earn points with either airline’s loyalty program and access both airlines’ lounges.

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