Final decision expected next month
Australia’s competition regulator has given its approval for Emirates airline and Qantas to extend their partnership for a further five years.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) draft determination proposes to grant authorisation for their partnership, with a final decision expected next month.
The two airlines applied in August last year to extend their partnership, making changes to reflect customer demand, new aircraft technology and each airline’s respective network strengths.
The key change will see the airlines better leveraging each other’s networks, by providing three options to Australia from Europe – via Dubai and Singapore, and direct to Perth.
Qantas will re-route its daily London - Sydney A380 service via Singapore rather than Dubai and upgrade its existing daily Singapore-Melbourne flight from an A330 to an A380. As previously announced, Qantas’ existing London-Dubai-Melbourne service will be replaced with its direct Dreamliner service flying London-Perth-Melbourne.
Customer demand for flights from Dubai to Australia with Emirates will remain well-served. Emirates will continue to operate 77 weekly services from Dubai to five cities – Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney – including seven daily A380 flights.
Both airlines welcomed the regulator’s decision.
“We are pleased that the ACCC’s draft determination supports the authorisation of our partnership with Qantas for a further five years until 2023, said an Emirates spokesperson.
“More than 8 million passengers have benefited from Emirates and Qantas’ joint network since the partnership began in 2013, and we look forward to continue leveraging on each airline’s unique strengths to offer travellers even more choice and enhanced services in the coming years.”
A Qantas spokesperson said the ACCC’s draft determination is an important step in helping the airline “deliver a better travel experience and more options between Australia, the UK and Europe for millions of customers”.
“The first five years of the partnership has lived up to the promise of serving our customers better, together, and the changes to our network are designed to reinforce this for the next five years,” the spokesperson said.
“With three options to get to Europe, via Perth, Singapore and Dubai, and more frequencies between Australia and New Zealand, the partnership better reflects customer demand, leverages new aircraft technology and plays to each airline’s respective network strengths.”