By Daniel Shane
Chief of Australian carrier says not in rush to enter Emirates tie-up; defends job losses
The head of Qantas has said that the Australian carrier will
take its time on deciding whether to enter into an alliance with Dubai’s
Emirates Airline, it was reported.
CEO Alan Joyce
said the struggling airline would “only enter partnerships when we have the
right arrangement for the long-term”, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Speculation has been rife that Qantas, which is losing money
on its international routes, could enter a tie-up with the UAE carrier that
would give it greater access to passengers travelling from Dubai.
Speaking last week, Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed
al-Maktoum told reporters that a code-sharing agreement would likely happen
within six months, but would not include any revenue-sharing arrangement.
However, Qantas boss Joyce said the airline was in no rush
to strike a deal with Emirates: "In the current economic environment,
taking our time with this part of our agenda will clearly not undermine our
broader transformation plan," he told a business lunch in Sydney.
Joyce also defended planned job cuts at Qantas, which could
see approximately 2,800 staff trimmed from its workforce to create AUD$300m
(US$316.1m) in savings per year.
In June, Qantas stated that it expected its full-year profit
before tax to plunge by as much as 90 percent to between US$50m to US$100m on
the back of losses in the airline’s international business.
In its full financial year 2011, the carrier recorded a
profit of US$552m.