A seismic shift has occurred in the aviation industry this week, the implications of which will impact travellers around the globe and is some of the biggest airline news in recent times. Dean Wicks, CMO & VP of Airline Relations for Asia Pacific’s leading travel metasearch site Wego, explains the effects of the announcement of the ten year Global Aviation Partnership between Qantas and Emirates.
“Essentially, the agreement will see Qantas transfer its European flight hub from London to Dubai from next April following regulatory approvals,” explained Wicks. “Qantas’ long-standing relationship with British Airways concludes simultaneously, and they will also no longer service Frankfurt on Qantas aircraft.”
Qantas will fly their A380s as far as Dubai, replacing the 747s to Frankfurt, and all onward European connections will depend on Emirates.
“This new global aviation partnership translates into a seamless travel experience from over 50 Australian destinations via the hub in Dubai, to more than 70 destinations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” Wicks observed.
The current British Airways and Qantas agreement, dubbed the kangaroo route, commits passengers to a Heathrow connection, which will now be removed by this partnership, providing travellers the opportunity to directly connect to other European cities from Dubai, without having to stop in London.
Wicks says the convenience of flying to Dubai and being able to connect directly to your chosen destination will be appreciated by passengers and opens all sorts of gateaway possibilities to Australia as a destination.
Qantas will now restructure its Asian network by increasing dedicated capacity to Singapore, and reschedule flights to Singapore and Hong Kong to enable more same day connections across Asia proving a big plus for business travellers.
“Emirates has proved popular in Australia and its likely an increase in flights with Australia and New Zealand will only benefit the industry,” Wicks noted.
Qantas Frequent Flyer points will still be able to be redeemed from April 2013 and extend to Emirates networks around the world, and they’ll also retain their existing loyalty programs with oneworld.
“This combination of networks, reciprocal redemption of reward programmes and integrated customer experience will also extend to additional baggage allowances, priority check-ins and priority baggage delivery,” said Wicks.
“Faster and shorter journeys makes the new Falcon route a win for consumers as the two airlines now form the world’s largest international airline, not bad for two countries that have a combined population of just over 30 million people,” he concluded.
All Qantas and Emirates airfares are live and available on the Wego site.