Update | The Qantas-Emirates alliance will start in April 2013 – click here for our full report.
Previous | Qantas and Emirates will reveal the full extent of their historic hook-up today, beginning with a codeshare deal which could see Qantas routing flights to Dubai so that passengers could transfer onto Emirates flights to Europe.
A press conference will be held at 10am EST, and Australian Business Traveller will be covering the key announcements live on our @AusBT Twitter channel.
The long-rumoured partnership could dramatically re-draw the Red Roo’s network map and is expected to also see Qantas end flights to Frankfurt – currently its only European destination apart from London.
International services from Perth and Adelaide could also be curtailed, in favour of feeding passengers into Emirates' Dubai hub.
“The objective is to eventually see Qantas fly through Dubai” Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum told reporters last month, Bloomberg reported.
However, the partnership has steered towards a simple codeshare deal rather than "a revenue-sharing accord".
While this could still put the Qantas-Emirates tie-up at a disadvantage compared to the closer partnership between Virgin Australia and Etihad, a codeshare could never the less open up Emirates' roster of almost 50 destinations in Europe and South Africa to Qantas.
At the same time, Emirates would have access to Qantas' domestic network so that EK passengers could more easily book flights within Australia as part of their journey.
The two airlines abandoned plans for a code-sharing agreement almost ten years ago, but much has changed in the market landscape since then.
Emirates’ growth has continued almost unabated to make it the world’s largest airline, while Qantas seeks to stem the flood of red ink from its loss-making international arm, which reported a $450 million loss this month due to a cruel cocktail of higher fuel costs and lower market share.
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.