Qantas and Emirates are extending their long-standing partnership for a further five years. Both airlines call the tie-up that goes back eight years a cornerstone agreement that sees them funnel millions of passengers to each other’s flights.
A long-running ‘cornerstone’ agreement gets a boost
On the weekend, Emirates CEO Tim Clark and Qantas boss Alan Joyce sealed the deal at IATA’s AGM in Boston. In a statement released on Monday, both CEOs spruiked the merits of the partnership and the extension.
“The extension of our partnership with Qantas is testament to its success. It also reflects our commitment to ensure that customers traveling to and from Australia, a market we have served for 25 years, continue to have the best connections and frequent flyer benefits,” said Tim Clark. “Despite the challenges of the past 18 months, today’s announcement reinforces that Emirates is here for the long-haul.”
Since the partnership began in 2013, more than 13 million passengers have traveled on the joint network. Those passengers have flown 87 billion kilometers. Between them, Qantas and Emirates provide passengers with access to more than 100 codeshare destinations.
Over 100 codeshare destinations available to Emirates & Qantas passengers
Those codeshare destinations include 38 destinations in the UK and Europe, 13 destinations in Africa and the Middle East, two destinations in Asia, and 55 destinations in Australia and New Zealand. Notwithstanding the last 18 months of minimal flying, Qantas says Emirates has fed 13,000 passengers a month onto their Australian domestic and regional network over the years.
“This marks the continuation of one of the most significant bilateral partnerships in aviation. We called it ‘seismic’ when it launched in 2013, and it has been,” says Mr Joyce.
“The premise of our partnership with Emirates has always been that no airline can fly everywhere but combined, we can fly to most of the places our joint customers want to travel to. And that we treat each other’s customers as our own.”
Since first flying to Australia, Emirates has proved popular with many local flyers. Passengers like the planes (especially the A380s), the frequencies, and the network. Before the travel downturn, Emirates operated over 100 flights a week in and out of Australia to multiple airports. That saw Emirates snare a sizeable share of the Australian market. Emirates has also won kudos for continuing to fly to Australia throughout the pandemic.
Qantas sticks with its Singapore stopover
When the partnership began, Qantas diverted its flagship London flights away from its Singapore pitstop to Dubai. The Gulf city was all well and good, but it never hit the popularity heights of Singapore. A few years ago, Qantas switched back to the Singapore stopover. The partnership extension does not see Qantas returning to Dubai.
With the partnership already in place until 2023, the weekend’s deal sees it extended through to 2028. Core elements of the partnership including coordination of pricing, schedules, sales, and tourism marketing on approved routes. The new agreement includes an option to renew for another five years beyond that.
“As borders re-open, we look forward to restoring our Australian flight schedules, including our popular A380 services, and to welcoming customers to experience our best-in-class partnership for many more years to come,” said the Emirates CEO.
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