Qantas to reveal Emirates alliance today

Qantas to reveal Emirates alliance today

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.

For the very latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers, tune into @AusBT on Twitter.

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.


  • AirportAddict


    2 Aug, 2012 03:38 pm

    However, the partnership is likely to be a simple codeshare deal rather than "a revenue-sharing accord".

    How involved is a simple codeshare arrangement? QFF points and status credits?

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  • Dmitry Abramov


    6 Sep, 2012 09:11 am

    Most likely QFF points and status credits will be granted only if a flight booking has a QF codeshare flight number.

    Just like with Air France, if your have a booking for QF 3977 (Air France codeshare) from Singapore to Paris, you will get QFF points/credits.

    However, if you have a booking for AF 257 (same flight, with AF flight number), no QFF points/credits for you.

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  • aero-seat


    2 Aug, 2012 04:56 pm

    I wonder if this has got to do with anything about the Virgin Australia-Etihad tie up a few years ago. I wonder what British Airways is going to react after British Airways have had some competition with Emirates.

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  • Alexander Witzke


    2 Aug, 2012 06:49 pm

    Intersting thought! But isn't EY somehow involved in EK? They lend them a lot of money in last years and don't they even own part of EK?

    So its intersting to see Virgin-Etihad and Qantas-Emirates which is a win situation for UAE somehow.

    Another example in Europe: EK wants more slots in Germany. e.g. DUS, but according to agreements no more slots. Hence, a new airlines is added to DUS. Guess who? EY! Daily flights now. Thats how you get more slots. Use a cooperation partner. Intersting also that EY is now holding shares of AB in Germany. Now also OneWorld member.

    Why not add EY and EK to OneWorld. Then its easier for all and more transparent to customers too ;-)

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  • radiC00l


    2 Aug, 2012 10:58 pm

    I agree that this must have been inspired, in part, by Virgin's strategy. This does however appear quite reactionary by Qantas given it's share price plummet (read: desperate). Qantas has only really quite recently released their international strategy - which invloves spending millions on lounges in HK and Singapore. Obviously there's been a change of mind. Having said that, the alliance is not a terrible idea - just a shame they didn't tie-up earlier. If EK has 70-odd flight a week AUS-UAE, how can QF get a piece of the action and not be marginalised further?

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  • rcooper


    4 Aug, 2012 10:21 pm

    This is completely reactionary for QF, they have their back against the wall and are in a serious position internationally.

     If it is a simple codeshare agreement, that potentially would be very concerning for QF frequent flyers in terms of status, points, upgrades etc, especially on EK flights where demand for seats especially premium seats far outweighs supply at busy times on all their routes.  If it means QF routing all their LHR and FRA slots via DXB then not such an issue

    Dependant on the agreement, BA would probably pull out of SYD, freeing up aircraft it could use on more lucrative routes, or their long haul expansion plans - and do a codeshare agreement from HKG BKK SIN as they do to NZ

    Will be interesting to see how this develops, and dont see how this benefits EK hugely apart from buying up more market share and reducing competition.

    Of course based on a travel article in the SMH it would appear QR are looking at a codeshare agreement with QF for SYD

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  • Mark Trim


    31 Aug, 2012 02:41 pm

    I thought Delta or United were the world's largest airline? Perhaps Emirates trumps them because their passengers fly longer distances but that doesn't seem to be the best measure. Anyway that's another story all together.

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  • FrequentFlyer


    31 Aug, 2012 07:02 pm

    It's calculated by terms of passengers-distance, as Emirates has mostly long-haul and ultra-long-haul, they come out as the top. Their growth rate is also the largest in the world.

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  • crosscourt


    31 Aug, 2012 10:35 pm

    This is all so hazy. Is there a view that QF will drop their LHR services? The arrangement between BA and QF is poor because you cannot use points to upgrade on BA unless you are going all the way to SYD or MEL and that is frustrating. QF say BA are obstructing things. If these airlines are trying to compete then listen to your passengers and the premium ones in particular.

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  • Rufus


    31 Aug, 2012 11:01 pm

    If this happens, what's the point of Qantas Intl even existing any more.  Anyone who flies them to London or Frankfurt chooses to do so (and conversely, chooses not to fly Emirates).  If I want to fly Emirates, I'll book with them.  I'm not going to suddenly start now, just because I can buy my ticket on the Qantas website.

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  • AusFlyer


    6 Sep, 2012 10:18 am

    The alliance that has been announced is great and can only be a positive step for Qantas. Dropping the BA alliance is no loss - the partnership was stale anyway which is pretty much what BA is as well.

    This is an opportunity for a fresh new partnership and from the sounds of it, the alignment of Frequent Flyer benefits is a great move as well and it also seems like there is less complication with that side of the partnership than there is with the VA/SQ partnership.... at least from what I understand of it now. 

    All up I'm looking forward to the new partnership and will be interested to see how QF can grow Asia as well now that this alliance completely opens up Europe. Glad that they didn't drop LHR completely too.

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18 Jun, 2019 01:22 pm


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