Emirates and Qantas took the wraps off a proposed global aviation partnership today that would result in the Australian flag carrier moving its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai starting next April. The 10-year code-sharing deal, signed Thursday morning by Emirates president Tim Clark and Qantas CEO Alan Joyce but awaiting regulatory approval, calls for an “extensive commercial relationship” between the two airlines and comes just as Qantas prepares to end its 17-year alliance with British Airways in March.
The partnership woould see Qantas join Emirates as the only airlines operating at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3. The two airlines plan to offer 98 weekly services between Australia and Dubai, including four daily A380 flights. The agreement would also result in many more “onward” Airbus A380 flights to Europe, including London, Paris, Moscow, Amsterdam, Munich and Rome. Qantas plans to launch daily A380 services from both Sydney and Melbourne to London via Dubai for a combined seven daily A380 flights to Heathrow.
For Emirates customers the deal would open Qantas’s Australian domestic network of more than 50 destinations and nearly 5,000 flights per week. The carriers also plan to coordinate their respective trans-Tasman services between Australia and New Zealand, allowing Emirates to offer improved schedules for flights to Christchurch and Auckland, including the introduction of Emirates’ daily A380 services on the Melbourne-Auckland route in October.
The airlines must still submit applications for regulatory approvals to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and other relevant regulators before beginning commercial planning.