Qantas and Emirates will extend their alliance to trans-Tasmas flights beginning August 14.
Codeshare flights and 'aligned fares' designed to equalise Qantas and Emirates ticket pricing will come into effect as New Zealand becomes part of a joint Qantas-Emirates network.
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. Bookings for these flights will be available from August 14, the same day as services begin.
Between them, Qantas and Emirates will operate around 130 services per week from Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown to Australian east coast cities.
In a statement issued to the media Qantas said that it "existing capacity on trans-Tasman routes that both Qantas and Emirates fly has been guaranteed as part of regulatory approvals."
However, this doesn't rule out timetable changes to existing AU-NZ flights to avoid Qantas and Emirates flights operating around the same time – a move which would result in a wider spread of services throughout the day – or adding 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.