Qantas customers can now start booking on the joint Qantas-Emirates network for travel starting March 31st.
This follows interim authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for the proposed Qantas and Emirates partnership. The partnership remains subject to government and regulatory approvals.
Qantas International CEO Simon Hickey said customers could book travel on a mix of Qantas and Emirates services to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“The feedback from customers since the Qantas and Emirates partnership was announced has been fantastic, so we are pleased people can start booking from today,” said Mr Hickey.
“No airline can fly everywhere but the combined Qantas and Emirates network means our customers can fly to a wide range of destinations and earn frequent flyer points in the process.
“One of the main advantages our customers will notice is one-stop access to a much wider range of cities across Europe via Dubai, rather than having to fly to London and backtrack,” he added.
Mr Hickey said Qantas customers would experience significant time savings to European destinations. For example, flying from Sydney to Barcelona on the existing Qantas network requires stops in Singapore and London. On the combined Qantas-Emirates network this same trip would require only a single stop in Dubai and take three hours less.
Today also marks the start of Emirates selling seats on Qantas services, in an arrangement that will ultimately see the world’s largest international airline drive traffic to regional hubs such as Hobart and the Gold Coast on routes operated by Qantas.
Following granting of interim approval last Thursday, Emirates and Qantas are finalising other details of their partnership, including joint pricing, schedules and additional frequent flyer benefits. This detail will be announced in coming weeks.
Customers can book on the joint network for travel after 31 March 2013 via Qantas.com or via their travel agent. Some parts of the joint network – including services between Australia and New Zealand – are not able to be booked until additional regulatory approvals are received.