Qantas and Emirates aim to extend their alliance across the Tasman in the coming months as the airlines launch shared routes and take on the incumbent Virgin Australia / Air New Zealand partnership.
Headlining the Qantas/Emirates push will be Emirates' A380 superjumbos, which currently fly from Sydney and Melbourne to Auckland – with Brisbane to follow from October 2 – offering true international-grade business class for trips over the pond.
(At a little over three hours, this is also one of the world's shortest Airbus A380 flights.)
Travellers will be able to book Emirates' trans-Tasman flights as codeshare services under Qantas flight numbers, resulting in a larger haul of frequent flyer points and status credits.
"As we’ve done in other markets, we’re in discussion with Emirates around aligning fares on trans-Tasman routes at the same time as setting up codeshare arrangements" a Qantas spokesman told Australian Business Traveller.
"We hope this will be completed in about a month or so."
Qantas is also expected to change its timetable for AU-NZ flights to avoid Qantas and Emirates flights operating around the same time, resulting in a wider spread of services throughout the day.
The move could also see new flights into other New Zealand destinations rather than overload cities like Auckland with too much capacity.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.