Australian national carrier Qantas and Dubai-based Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, launched their new partnership Sunday with a flight from Sydney Airport. The flight featured a pair of Airbus
A380s, the first time two commercial A380s have flown in formation.
(Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas, Tim Clark, president of Emirates. Photo, courtesy of Emirates.)
The partnership was given final regulatory approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last week. Qantas’ international network should benefit from the partnership following a struggling economic period.
ACCC granted interim approval of the alliance in January, allowing the two carriers to begin selling tickets, and Qantas said it has seen a “sixfold increase in bookings to Europe” on the new joint network compared to the same period last year.
The two carriers will offer a combined 98 flights per week between Australia and Dubai, featuring the largest joint fleet of A380s worldwide.
“Before today, the Qantas network offered five one-stop codeshare destinations into Europe and the UK with our partners. From today, we offer access to 32 destinations in Europe on the combined Qantas and Emirates network,” said Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas. “The new network will cut average journey times by more than two hours from Melbourne and Sydney to the top 10 destinations in Europe.”
Over 210,000 sectors have been booked thus far on the joint network, Qantas said.