Qantas is about to stop flying its own planes to the Middle East

Photo: Getty Images

Qantas will hand over flights to Europe through Dubai to its codeshare partner, Emirates, after re-signing a five-year alliance deal.

The Australian airline shift its focus to Asia instead rerouting its daily Sydney-London A380 service via Singapore instead of Dubai and upgrade the daily Melbourne-Singapore flight from an A330 to an A380. The move means the traditional “kangaroo route” will now pass through the island nation rather than the Gulf state.

When the changes start on 25 March, 2018, the airline will also replace the existing Melbourne-Dubai-London service will the Dreamliner 787 flying from Melbourne to Perth and then direct to London. From 25 March 2018, QF 1/2 A380 service will operate Sydney – London via Singapore, replacing one of the existing Sydney – Singapore A330 services. A second Sydney–Singapore daily service will continue on an A330.

CEO Alan Joyce says the changes will save Qantas $80 million annually from FY19 onwards and give customers a choice of three hubs between Australia and UK/Europe – Dubai, Perth and Singapore.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Emirates will run 77 weekly services from five cities – Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – including seven daily A380 flights, available to Qantas passengers. The airline says that will offer more than 60 onward connections on Emirates to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Joyce said Dubai will remain an important hub for Qantas customers, and more then eight million passengers had travelled on the combined network since the deal was first struck in 2013.

“Improvements in aircraft technology mean the Qantas network will eventually feature a handful of direct routes between Australia and Europe, but this will never overtake the sheer number of destinations served by Emirates,” he said.

Joyce said the deal gives customers access to more than 40 cities not served by Qantas.

Together Qantas and Emirates have more than 100 codeshare destinations including 33 in Europe, 60 in Australia and New Zealand, 14 in Africa and the Middle East and 2 in Asia.

Tickets for the new Qantas new services will be available from tomorrow.

The re-signing of the five-year Qantas-Emirates deal is still subject to Australia regulatory approval.

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