Qantas and Air France will codeshare on more than 200 flights per week after renewing a deal that was dropped more than five years ago when Australia’s flag carrier signed a global partnership with Gulf airline Emirates.
Qantas will add its QF code to flights operated by Air France between Singapore and Hong Kong and Paris Charles de Gaulle, as a continuation of flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
Air France will add its AF code to Qantas flights between Hong Kong and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and between Singapore and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. It will also codeshare on Qantas-operated domestic flights from Sydney to Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Darwin and Hobart.
Qantas International chief executive Alison Webster said the codeshare would give customers another option to get to Paris via Asia, as well as another opportunity to earn frequent flyer points.
“The return of this popular codeshare delivers on our strategy of partnering to provide customers with access to an expanded network and more seamless travel experiences wherever they want to fly,” she added.
Qantas formed a joint venture with Emirates in September 2012, which spelt the end for a long-standing alliance with British Airways, as well as codeshares with Air France from both Hong Kong and Singapore to Paris, and Cathay Pacific flights from Hong Kong to Rome.
The Qantas-Emirates joint business partnership was reauthorised for a further five years in March 2018 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, meaning the deal will now run until 2023.
The approval came just days after Qantas stopped operating its Sydney - London Heathrow flight via Dubai, replacing it with a stop in Singapore. Melbourne - London Heathrow was also shifted to Melbourne - Perth - London Heathrow.
Qantas’ chief executive Alan Joyce said the move was because its partnership with Emirates has evolved to a point where Qantas “no longer needs to fly its own aircraft through Dubai” and so can redirect some of its A380 flying into Singapore and meet the strong demand in Asia.
“Improvements in aircraft technology mean the Qantas network will eventually feature a handful of direct routes between Australia and Europe, but this will never overtake the sheer number of destinations served by Emirates and that’s why Dubai will remain an important hub for our customers,” he added.
The renewed Air France codeshare is available for booking from 5 June for travel from 20 July 2018.
It comes as Australia’s flag carrier evaluates a non-stop service between Perth and Paris. Qantas has the rights to fly to Paris daily and it is understood it could look to add operations to France’s capital by late 2019.
Qantas has so far taken delivery of four 787-9s with a further four due to arrive by the end of 2018. An additional six will arrive between late 2019 and mid-to-late 2020.