The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today announced that it has approved the much-anticipated Qantas-Emirates global partnership, first applied for and reported in September last year (see here). This development comes just as Qantas' 17-year joint business agreement with IAG/British Airways is coming to an end. In December 2012 the ACCC released its draft authorisation, and in January this year it gave the partnership interim approval.
This has allowed a gradual inter-carrier coordination of pricing (see here), schedules (see here), bookings (see here), loyalty programmes and capacity (see here). It has also enabled the complete switch-over from the traditional "Kangaroo-route" hub of Singapore to Qantas' new operational hub in Dubai (see here).
“Dubai is a leading global hub and through it, our two airlines will connect Australia to Europe, the UK and Northern Africa more smoothly than ever before,” said Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airlines.
From Dubai, passengers can connect to 65 destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Emirates customers, meanwhile, are able to choose from 32 Australian cities that Qantas flies to Canberra, Cairns and Hobart.
“Customers are already responding very strongly to the joint network that Qantas and Emirates have built, and to the frequent flyer benefits that extend across it, with a significant increase in bookings,” said chief executive of Qantas Group Alan Joyce.
The first flight under this partnership is scheduled to depart from Sydney to London (via Dubai) on March 31.