Australia’s competition regulator has granted final approval to a five-year alliance between Australia’s Qantas Airways and Emirates Airline.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said its approval was conditional, providing the carriers maintain their pre-alliance capacity on routes between Australia and New Zealand.
The ACC said the tie up will “provide Qantas and Emirates customers with increased access to a larger number of existing frequencies and destinations under a single airline code, improved connectivity and scheduling, and access to each alliance partner’s frequent flyer programmes”.
The two carriers announced the deal, which includes switching Qantas’ hub to Dubai from Singapore, in September but have been waiting for final ACCC approval. The airlines have been coordinating pricing, sales and schedules since being granted interim approval in December.
The first flight to transit through Dubai is expected to leave Sydney on Sunday en route to London.
The deal will see the airlines codeshare most flights and tie up their frequent flyer programmes and enable struggling Qantas to cut loss-making international routes and focus on its profitable domestic and budget operations.