Qantas Extends Emirates Partnership, Targets Earlier International Restart

Australia’s flag-carrier plans to extend its joint business with Emirates for a further five years and has brought forward the resumption of two long-haul routes.

Qantas and Emirates are seeking to extend their joint venture partnership for another five years beyond the expiry of their current agreement.

The airlines, which have existing approvals from regulators to operate a joint business until March 2023, will seek re-authorization to continue the core elements of the partnership until 2028. This includes coordination of pricing, schedules, sales and tourism marketing on approved routes.

The agreement also includes an option to renew for another five years beyond that. The partnership has already been in place for the past eight years.

For Emirates passengers, the tie-up provides access to more than 55 Australian destinations that Emirates does not fly to, and Qantas customers are able to fly with Emirates to Dubai and access in excess of 50 cities in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, that Qantas does not fly to.

“We know the international aviation market will take years to fully recover so close collaboration between airline partners is going to be more important than ever,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.

The planned extension of the agreement, announced at the IATA AGM in Boston, comes after Qantas said it intends to relaunch scheduled long-haul services on Nov. 14, flying from Sydney to London and Los Angeles.

The oneworld alliance member originally expected to restart international flights in mid-December but has brought forward the resumptions after Australia’s government confirmed international borders would reopen in November.

Qantas will operate a one-stop 3X-weekly service between Sydney and London and 3X-weekly flights between Sydney and Los Angeles using Boeing 787-9s. More flights can be added to meet demand, the carrier said.

Other international routes that were scheduled to resume from Dec. 18 will continue as planned although the airline said it has the flexibility to add additional routes if other states and territories decide to open their borders earlier and reduce quarantine requirements.

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