Major Qantas/Emirates alliance moves closer

By Doug Newhouse |

Both Qantas and Emirates have welcomed yesterday’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) draft proposal to approve their partnership for five years.


ACCC approval is required for Emirates and Qantas to coordinate on pricing, sales and capacity. It has also issued a draft determination with a final decision due in March 2013. The implementation of the partnership remains subject to this process and regulatory approval in other jurisdictions. If approval is given then the new alliance will bring Qantas’ long relationship with British Airways to an end.


A major driver of the move, Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce said: “We put a strong case to the ACCC that outlined the benefits of this partnership, both for travellers and for Australian tourism. Our customer research has shown very strong support for the Qantas and Emirates partnership, particularly in terms of increasing one-stop access to Europe, cutting travel time and offering frequent flyer benefits.




“We will now focus on responding to the issues raised by the ACCC in relation to the trans-Tasman, as we move to securing final approval of this landmark partnership.”


President of Emirates Tim Clark said that the positive response from its customers has also been matched with enthusiasm from the local tourism sector: “The feedback since the Emirates and Qantas partnership was announced has been positive and reinforces what a strong match the two brands are for each other.


“Australia is one of the top three destinations in the Emirates network, popular for our business and leisure travellers alike. The partnership with Qantas means we can add regional destinations like the Gold Coast and Hobart to the growing list of places we offer Emirates customers worldwide,” he added.


Since announcing the proposed partnership in September, Emirates and Qantas have started initial preparations that do not require regulatory approval, including connecting IT systems, designing frequent flyer benefits and establishing an operational base for Qantas in Dubai.


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