This week saw the second anniversary of the Qantas-Emirates alliance. The partnership between the two airlines set off massive shifts in the way Qantas operated flights to Europe.
The agreement between the two airlines put Dubai into the centre of Qantas European schedules, in place of the more traditional South East Asian stopovers. Previously Qantas flew to London via Singapore, and to a less extent, Hong Kong and Bangkok. In addition, passengers not bound for London could change to the Emirates network in Dubai, rather then flying to London, then backtracking on a Birtish Airways service.
The most obvious feature of the new network was the switch to the Dubai transit for Europe bound passengers. The change brought many European cities to be single stop journeys from Australia. As Gareth Evans, Qantas International CEO explains, “Together we are taking more people to more places with Qantas customers now being able to access more than 70 Emirates destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and Emirates customers enjoying Qantas’ Australian domestic network of more than 50 destinations and 5,000 flights per week.”
South East Asia changes
The other feature of the change was to disconnect the South East Asian flights from the European timetables. Many of the South East Asia flights flew onwards to Europe. By removing the need to fit into the European schedule, Qantas rebuilt the South East Asian schedule shortly after the joint network with Emirates came into effect.
On the downside, the changes saw Perth and Adelaide exit from the Qantas International timetable.
Since the start of the alliance, the joint network has carried more than 2 million passegers. Among those flights, Qantas Frequent Flyers have flown a total of 16 billion kilometres.
“Customer satisfaction levels have reached record heights with a double digit increase in advocacy scores being received by international travellers as Qantas continues to develop its partnership strategy,” according to Gareth Evans.
For Qantas Frequent Flyers, the move opened up all of Emirates’ flights out of Australia to Qantas loyalists, enabling them to book flights on Emirates on Qantas codeshares, allowing members to earn Status Credits and Points on the flights. Qantas codeshares became available on a number of flights from Dubai to various European cities as well.