Qantas deal to affect trans-Tasman flights
Thu, 06 Sep 2012 6:07p.m.
By Rachel Morton
Qantas has done a deal that could result in fewer flights across the Tasman.
It’s entered a long haul arrangement with its Middle Eastern rival Emirates that it says will revive the loss-making international operation.
The struggling airline is hoping that moving its hub from Singapore to Dubai will improve profits on its international operation.
“We believe that this clearly shows that there is a path to get Qantas International more profitable and it's a big, big step in improving profit for Qantas International,” says CEO Alan Joyce.
Last month Qantas announced an annual loss of $245 million dollars, its first annual loss since it was privatised in 1995.
Qantas shares rose six cents after this morning's announcement.
Qantas and Emirates will co-ordinate their trans-Tasman flights. Qantas says its trans-Tasman service won't be affected but Emirates will be changing its schedules. Starting from October there'll be Airbus A380 flights to Auckland from both Sydney and Melbourne, and the use of the larger capacity aircraft is likely to mean fewer flights.
But it's Europe where the biggest difference will be seen.
Emirates CEO Tim Clark says Dubai will be the stop-over point on the way to Europe instead of Singapore.
“I can see a lot of growth on the Qantas side, this isn't just about Emirates growing its business in to Australia it's about Qantas growing its mettle over Dubai into points in Europe,” he says.
That means from Australia passengers can fly to 33 European destinations with just one stop on the way. Until now there have only been five one-stop options.
If the deal gets regulatory approval it will begin in 2013.
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