Qantas and Emirates compete for Kiwis with extra flights

Qantas and Emirates compete for Kiwis with extra flights

It follows an announcement earlier this year by the airline to stop the Auckland-Sydney service.

The airline will cease daily Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland flights by March 2018, leaving Sydney-Christchurch as its only trans-Tasman service, having dropped Sydney-Auckland in June.

The move represents a capacity reduction on the Tasman given Qantas operates a mix of Boeing 737-800s and Airbus A330s on its Australia-New Zealand services, which have fewer seats than Emirates' A380 flights. It suggests the airline now has enough customers and market presence in New Zealand to leave the shorter trans-Tasman flights to Qantas - which can serve the route more efficiently with smaller aircraft.

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 a year ago and due to competition from new entrants like Taiwan'sChina Airlines Ltd.

The new agreement, which needs to be signed off by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, includes a recently-announced major overhaul of routes that were part of the initial five-year Qantas-Emirates partnership agreement.

Following the latest changes, FlightGlobal schedules show that Emirates' only transtasman flight will be its daily Sydney-Christchurch services, which are operated by A380s.

"Reauthorisation of the partnership will allow us to leverage our combined network strengths to offer customers even more flight choices and reciprocal benefits for our millions of frequent flyer members", he said.

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Emirates will codeshare on the additional flights, but adds that it will place its focus on its daily nonstop services from Dubai to Auckland. "It will enable us to continue developing world-class customer experiences, and contribute to stimulating increased opportunities for worldwide trade, tourism and commerce".

Tickets for Qantas' new Tasman services will be available progressively from 12 October, and Emirates customers with existing bookings impacted by these changes will be re-accommodated onto Qantas services or will be given the option to change their flights.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said "Since 2013 we have offered more choices and a larger network to eight million passengers who have travelled more than 65 billion kilometres on our joint network". "That's certainly been true for the past five years and now we're evolving our joint network so we can serve them even better for the next five".

Qantas and Emirates plan to increase their direct services to New Zealand.

"This frees up airplanes for Emirates to instead launch its own direct Dubai-New Zealand flights as well as complement its connectivity via Qantas through services across Australia", Ahmad told Khaleej Times.

Centre for Aviation (CAPA) commentary ahead of the August news, said Qantas had the upper hand in the partnership, but that it was worthwhile for Emirates to maintain the deal to avoid the risk of Qantas teaming up with an Emirates competitor.

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