Qantas has taken the next steps towards establishing its new gateway to Europe and the UK, enabling customers to book flights through the global hub of Dubai for travel from March 31st 2013.
The revised Qantas routes, Sydney-Dubai-London and Melbourne-Dubai-London, come as the ACCC considers the proposed Qantas-Emirates partnership, which remains subject to regulatory approval.
Today’s schedule changes do not involve coordination between the airlines and do not require ACCC approval.
Chief executive of Qantas International, Simon Hickey, said routing flights via Dubai would ultimately enable improved travel options offered through the proposed partnership.
“The proposed partnership with Emirates will offer Qantas customers one-stop access to more than 30 destinations in Europe compared with the five we offer now,” said Mr Hickey.
“The benefits for the travelling public are clear and feedback we’ve had since the Emirates partnership was announced has been overwhelmingly positive.
“By releasing our schedules now, travellers can book their trips beyond March 2013 with confidence based on the new Qantas international route map.
“The Kangaroo Route used to pass through the Middle East on its way from Australia to London and now it will again,” Mr Hickey added.
Qantas will start initial work with Emirates on its proposed partnership from today, following discussions with the ACCC and withdrawal of the airline’s request for interim authorisation.
The ACCC is considering the airlines’ substantive application for authorisation.
Qantas has also made a series of other adjustments to its international flight schedule, focused on giving customers more choice and flexibility.
Qantas services to Frankfurt will continue until October 2013 and flights to Singapore will be timed so that they connect better with onward flights within Asia.
The new schedule will be available shortly on qantas.com and via travel agents.