Qantas and Emirates have received final approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for their five-year partnership.
The ACCC granted interim approval for the partnership in January, enabling the two airlines to coordinate pricing, schedules and capacity in advance of the final decision.
Qantas will now switch its Sydney-London flights to route via Emirates’ hub in Dubai, with the first flight departing Sydney this Sunday (March 31).
As part of the approval of the partnership, the two carriers have committed to maintain at least their current levels of capacity on the four routes that both airlines fly between Australia and New Zealand.
Both Qantas and Emirates have unveiled a series of new customer initiatives ahead of the launch of the partnership.
From April 1 Qantas will introduce a complimentary chauffeur drive service for business and first class customers on selected long-haul routes including the London-Sydney service, and the carrier is also rolling out a new business class turndown service (see online news January 24).
Meanwhile Emirates has added a new Platinum tier to its Skywards loyalty scheme, mirroring the top tier of Qantas’s Frequent Flyer programme (see online news February 11).
Report by Mark Caswell