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Qantas pact with Emirates – how firm is it?

July 14, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The Qantas commercial relationship with Emirates, named by the CAPA Centre for Aviation as most significant development in Qantas’ recent partnership history, may change with the arrival of nonstop Qantas flights to London and the establishment of a western Australian hub in Perth.

The development opens up a new range of options for the future, CAPA says.

A CAPA analysis points out that nonstop Perth-London flights (due to begin in March 2018) will occur outside the Qantas joint venture with Emirates. Qantas is also evaluating next-generation aircraft to fly nonstop from Sydney to London, which could also be outside the Emirates joint venture.

Meanwhile, Qantas will replace Emirates’ capacity between Sydney and Auckland, as Emirates withdraws from the route following introduction of its nonstop Auckland-Dubai service.

For passengers, flying from Australia’s eastern states to London via Perth will involve an easier transfer process, CAPA notes, as they will be in the same small terminal and not the large Dubai complex. Qantas will utilise the more intimate space “to control the experience better and push its brand and service concept, which command a premium”.

For Emirates, the upside is that Qantas will reduce overall capacity from Australia to London.

CAPA also points out that:

  • The Qantas B787-9 (which will operate the Perth service) is better configured to respond to market demand than are the airline’s older A380s, which Qantas currently uses to operate its two daily London services.
  • With 51% fewer seats than the A380, the 787-9 lets Qantas focus on higher yielding passengers.
  • Qantas will increase the proportion of premium seating in the B787.
  • Assuming the success of the Perth nonstop, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce plans to add B787-9 services to Paris and Germany (probably Frankfurt), further entrenching the Perth western hub.
  • Variants of Boeing’s 777X and Airbus’ A350 family open the possibility of Sydney-London nonstop and Sydney-New York nonstop. Sydney-London nonstop would again presumably not be included in the Emirates joint venture.

The CAPA analysis gives good insights and is worth reading:

Written by Peter Needham

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