Emirates and Qantas have marked the official start of their historic partnership, with the first Qantas flights departing from Sydney and Melbourne to London via the international hub of Dubai.
The partnership marks a new era for Qantas and Emirates, and for global aviation, as the two carriers collaborate to deliver the best network, lounges, frequent flyer benefits and travel experiences.
“The strength of this partnership stems from the fact the Emirates and Qantas brands are an excellent match. Emirates customers using a Qantas lounge or taking a Qantas flight will experience a level of service that is on par with what they expect from Emirates,” said Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline.
“Our two airlines offer the largest joint fleet of Airbus A380s and passengers will be welcomed through Concourse A, the world’s first, purpose built A380 concourse, at Dubai International Airport, which is the geographical centrepiece of the partnership,” added Clark.
“A major benefit is the range of products we are offering frequent flyers. Customers of either airline can leverage many of their privileges when they fly on the joint network, including earning points, redeeming flights and accessing lounges.”
Qantas chief executive, Alan Joyce, said the partnership would make long haul travel more seamless – and faster – for millions of Australians.
“From today, our customers from Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney have one-stop access to 65 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, the UK and Europe via the joint Qantas and Emirates network.
“By travelling through Dubai, Qantas customers can connect to the extensive Emirates network into Europe and the UK and fly directly to their destination,” said Joyce.
“Before today, the Qantas network offered five one-stop codeshare destinations into Europe and the UK with our partners. From today, we offer access to 32 destinations in Europe on the combined Qantas and Emirates network.
“The new network will cut average journey times by more than two hours from Melbourne and Sydney to the top 10 destinations in Europe,” added Joyce.
Combined the two airlines will offer 98 flights a week between Australia and Dubai.
Customers have already responded very strongly to the partnership, with over 212,086 sectors booked so far on the joint network.
Qantas has seen a six-fold increase in bookings to Europe on the joint network in the first nine weeks of sales compared to the same period last year.
The number of Emirates customers booked to travel on Qantas’ domestic network is almost seven times higher than under Qantas’ previous partnership arrangement in the same nine week period.
More information on the deal can be found here.