Qantas plans to extend its partnership with Emirates for a further five years, while making route and aircraft changes to reflect customer demand.
The Australian carrier said the proposed changes will increase customer choice and allow frequent flyers increased opportunities to earn and redeem miles.
The biggest change is Qantas switching its daily Sydney-London flight to transit through Singapore rather than Emirates’ Dubai hub. Its daily Melbourne-Singapore flight will be upgraded from an Airbus A330 to an A380 as Qantas pivots towards Asia and essentially leaves European routes to Emirates.
Qantas’ Melbourne-London service via Dubai will be replaced by an already announced Boeing 787 service from Perth.
In a statement, Qantas said the adjustments will deliver financial advantages to both airlines, with Qantas’ net benefit estimated at more than AUD$80 million annually from the 2019 financial year onwards.
For Emirates passengers, the partnership provides access to over 60 Australian destinations not currently served by that airline, and for Qantas, it gives access to over 40 cities in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, not served by Qantas.
The changes and partnership extension are subject to regulatory approval.