Qantas and Emirates compete for Kiwis with extra flights

11 October 2017 2:39 AM

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Emirates will begin services directly between Dubai and New Zealand bypassing Melbourne and Brisbane, and Qantas will run additional services between Australia and New Zealand, as part of a changes to their partnership agreement.

It follows an announcement in August from Qantas that it will no longer fly to London via Dubai but use Singapore as its hub for London customers.

In what appears to be an increase in competition between the two, Emirates will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney, but said on Wednesday it would also evaluate potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai.

The new agreement will see Qantas adding seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return services per week between Brisbane and Auckland. Some of these services will be upgraded from a 737 to a wide-body A330.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce told Businessday his airline would be increasing capacity from Brisbane to Auckland by 42 per cent and from Melbourne to Auckland by 60 per cent.

The new agreement, which needs to be signed off by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, includes a recently-announced major overhaul of routes that were part of the initial five-year Qantas-Emirates partnership agreement.

Qantas will no longer offer services on its own aircraft to London via Dubai but will code-share with Emirates. Instead the Flying Kangaroo will use its own aircraft to fly to London via Singapore and next year will begin a non-stop service from Perth to London.

Emirates will still run a combined 77 weekly services from five cities – Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – including seven daily A380 flights and Qantas passengers will still be able to fly on Emirates to Dubai and connect with European ports.

Within five years Qantas expects to be flying non-stop from the east coast of Australia to London and New York having already begun talks with aircraft manufacturers to develop a plane with the capability to fly this distance.

Qantas said its new trans-Tasman services will carry Emirates code and will connect to Qantas' London services via Perth or Singapore and Emirates' services between Australia and Europe via Dubai.

Both the airlines' chief executives declared the first five-year agreement a success. President of Emirates airline, Tim Clark, said: "Reauthorisation of the partnership will allow us to leverage our combined network strengths to offer customers even more flight choices and reciprocal benefits for our millions of frequent flyer members."

Mr Joyce said: "We are now enhancing the partnership to reflect customer demand, new aircraft technology and our respective network strengths."

Qantas boss Alan Joyce said the airline would be increasing capacity from Brisbane to Auckland by 42 per cent and from Melbourne to Auckland by 60 per cent.

He has said the new agreement would yield an annual $80 million benefit from 2019 but is adamant the deal is positive for both airlines.


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