Qantas and Emirates plan changes to services on the ‘kangaroo route’ between Europe and Australia.
The revisions to the joint network will see Qantas make savings of A$80 million a year from 2019.
The carriers will provide three options to Australia from Europe – via Dubai and Singapore and direct to Perth.
The changes are planned to start from March 2018.
Qantas will re-route its daily London–Sydney Airbus A380 superjumbo service via Singapore rather than Dubai and upgrade a daily Singapore-Melbourne flight from an A330 to an A380.
Qantas’ existing London-Dubai-Melbourne service will be replaced with the first direct Boeing 787 Dreamliner service flying between London and Perth and on to Melbourne, as previously announced.
This change will also see Qantas boost its network across Asia, providing UK customers more options to travel to destinations in Southeast Asia served by the broader Qantas Group network, according to the airlines.
Emirates will continue to operate 77 weekly services from Dubai to five Australian cities – Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney – including seven daily A380s.
The airlines will seek re-authorisation from relevant regulators, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to continue co-ordination of pricing, schedules, sales and tourism marketing, under an expanded partnership.
A total of eight million passengers have travelled on the combined network since 2013.
Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said: “The first five years of the Qantas-Emirates alliance has been a great success. Emirates has given Qantas customers an unbeatable network into Europe that is still growing.
“We want to keep leveraging this strength and offer additional travel options on Qantas, particularly through Asia.
“Our partnership has evolved to a point where Qantas no longer needs to fly its own aircraft through Dubai, and that means we can redirect some of our A380 flying into Singapore and meet the strong demand we’re seeing in Asia.
“Improvements in aircraft technology means the Qantas network will eventually feature a handful of direct routes between Europe and Australia, 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.”
Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said: “Together we deliver choice and value to consumers, mutual benefit to both businesses, and expanded tourism and trade opportunities for the markets served by both airlines. We remain committed to the partnership.
“Emirates has worked with Qantas on these network changes. We see an opportunity to offer customers an even stronger product proposition for travel to Dubai, and onward connectivity to our extensive network in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We will announce updates in the coming weeks.
“Customers of both airlines will continue to benefit from the power of our joint network, from our respective products, and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.”
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