UAE's Emirates, Australia's Qantas restructure common flight plan

UAE's Emirates, Australia's Qantas restructure common flight plan

UAE's Emirates, Australia's Qantas restructure common flight plan

The daily Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland flights will be scrapped, but Emirates will keep its daily Airbus A380 Dubai-Sydney-Christchurch flights.

After Emirates steps back, Qantas will run seven return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and add two extra flights a week between Brisbane and Auckland, with some of them upscaling from a Boeing 737 to an Airbus A330.

President of Emirates airline, Sir Tim Clark, said the first five years of the partnership has been a "success".

However, the total number of seats between Australia and New Zealand on all airlines will fall by 3.7 percent after the changes, Qantas said.

Emirates will codeshare on the additional flights, but adds that it will place its focus on its daily nonstop services from Dubai to Auckland.

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Wednesday's move is a strong signal from Emirates that it has built a strong enough presence in the New Zealand market to go it alone on long-haul routes.

Emirates President Tim Clark said demand on its Australia-Auckland flights had been hit after the launch of a non-stop flight between Dubai and Auckland past year and due to competition from new entrants like Taiwan'sChina Airlines Ltd.

The new changes are included in the airlines' application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and New Zealand Minister of Transport to extend their partnership for another five years until 2023. "It will enable us to continue developing world-class customer experiences, and contribute to stimulating increased opportunities for global trade, tourism and commerce".

Emirates customers with existing bookings impacted by the changes will be re-accommodated onto Qantas services or will be given the option to change their flights.

"Since 2013 we have delivered more choice and a larger network to eight million passengers who have travelled more than 65 billion kilometres on our joint network".

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Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the changes reflected "customer demand, new aircraft technology and our respective network strengths". "The premise of the partnership has always been that we could serve our customers better together".

The changes will "enable Emirates to reschedule its Australia flights to create a better spread of departure times throughout the day", the statement said.

Within five years Qantas expects to be flying non-stop from the east coast of Australia to London and NY having already begun talks with aircraft manufacturers to develop a plane with the capability to fly this distance.

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon noted recently the airline's trans-Tasman network had been "very challenged for about a year" and suffered a weak 2016/17 first half due to increased competitive capacity and a decline in connecting passengers because of new direct services to New Zealand.

Further, the airline said it was "evaluating potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai".

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