Emirates wants Qantas partnership to extend to 2023

By David Flynn , April 20 2015
Emirates wants Qantas partnership to extend to 2023

Emirates is keen to extend its alliance with Qantas for another five years and also wants to boost the number of its flagship Airbus A380s flying to Australia.

The historic but in some quarters controversial Qantas/Emirates partnership was forged in 2013, and saw the Flying Kangaroo end its long-standing joint venture with British Airways in favour of a five-year hook-up with the Gulf airline.

A dual A380 flyover of Sydney to mark the launch of the alliance
A dual A380 flyover of Sydney to mark the launch of the alliance

This also meant ditching Singapore for Dubai as the stop-over for flights to the UK and Europe – although according to our recent poll, 42% of Australian Business Traveller readers still prefer to break their journey in Singapore, compared to barely 11% for Dubai.

Many travellers still prefer to fly via Singapore than Dubai
Many travellers still prefer to fly via Singapore than Dubai

However, the Qantas/Emirates alliance put scores of European destinations – including a half-dozen in the UK – just one stop away from Emirates' hub in Dubai.

Read: The Qantas-Emirates alliance, two years on...

And those flights are so full that Emirates president Tim Clark is eager to continue his relationship with the Red Roo.

Clark wants to extend the QF/EK alliance by at least another five years
Clark wants to extend the QF/EK alliance by at least another five years

“I see no reason why we won’t continue with the arrangement,” Clark told leading UAE newspaper Gulf News.

“It’s doing really well at the moment. We’re filling our aeroplanes up, they’re filling our [aeroplanes and] we’re putting a lot on their domestic network,” Clark said.

Emirates and Qantas want to remains BFFs
Emirates and Qantas want to remains BFFs

Qantas and Emirates originally petitioned the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for a ten-year partnership, but the consumer watchdog allowed only half that span.

Clark is confident that the ACCC will back a re-up of the deal for a second five years.

“As long as Alan Joyce is there and I’m here at Emirates and the Emirates team is working closely together with Qantas it will just be a continuation,” he said.

Tim Clark and Alan Joyce talk up the Emirates/Qantas alliance
Tim Clark and Alan Joyce talk up the Emirates/Qantas alliance

Since the alliance began in 2013 Emirates has pulled ahead of Singapore Airlines to claim number two spot on the leaderboard of Australia's most popular international airlines after Qantas itself.

As of December 2014, Qantas and Emirates combined carried 24.7% of passengers to and from Australia – almost one in four international travellers – with Virgin Australia partner Singapore Airlines in third place at 8.6 per cent.

That continued growth, and potentially a continued partnership, could see Emirates roster more A380 superjumbos to Australian cities.

More Emirates A380s for Australia? Yes please...
More Emirates A380s for Australia? Yes please...

“Getting onto any of our Australian aircraft, you’ve got to be heroic to get a seat because we just don’t seem to have any," Clarke said. "We need more A380s going to Australia."

Read more: Emirates to extend Qantas partnership beyond 2018

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Emirates keen to extend and I understand this. But I never understand what is good for Qantas in this so-called "partnership" that to me looks more like dog and dog handler relationship.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

Are you kidding? They are now able to offer their customers one stop connections to an incredible amount of destinations in Europe and Africa. Instead of flights to London and having to connect with BA where it was a 2 stop+ connection

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I wrote many times and can repeat it again – that “one-stop” to Europe is incredibly exaggerated statement that looks to me more like propaganda from Qantas marketing department. Yes, some European cities counts, but many destinations required either arrive or departure at incredibly inconvenient time (Emirates famous to departure/arrive at most stupid times) or very long layover in Dubai or go from Dubai to Melbourne via Kuala Lumpur and yep arrive to Melbourne at 2am. IMHO that partnership is indeed good for Emirates – no wonder that they like it to continue. But frankly I do not believe that this marriage do any good for Qantas.

18 Apr 2015

Total posts 68

I don't know why everyone is voting Serg down. Tim Clark says it himself  "We’re filling our aeroplanes up, they’re filling our [aeroplanes and] we’re putting a lot on their domestic network,” Clark said." 

Ideally, the tie up should have gone like this...
1. both sets of customers benefit from greater flights, lounges, onward connections etc etc - these benefits are well known. Tick

2. Financially, and most importantly....
- Qantas puts bums on Emirates flights DXB-Europe/Africa etc.Tick
- Emirates puts bums on Qantas domestic flights. Tick
- QFi to Europe is profitable and a growing business - but here is the critical bit - Qantas is filling Emirates seats to DXB and can't even manage to fill 2 x A380 loads of its own to London. If there is a shortage of capacity into Australia, why wasn't Emirates filling Qantas' A380's?

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Hi superflyer! It does not bother me that some voting down – people have different ideas. Perhaps some feel that I am not “politically correct” or some just love Emirates – who knows?

To the point. I do not believe that EF-QF so called “partnership” boosting Qantas domestic market – Emirates flying to each capital of Australia and only routes that they required are Mildura-Melbourne and alike. However even from this very article one can make clear conclusion that above mentioned “partnership” is one-way valve – Emirates thinking to bring more A380 to Australia while there is rumor that Qantas struggling to fill MEL-LHR and SYD-LHR routes! And as we know MEL-FRA route was axed exactly because EK-QF deal. Another biggest problem that Emirates is not a member of One World, so sometimes it getting difficult to check your baggage through – I recently have clash at check-counter when Finnair was rejecting to check baggage to Australia because BKK-SYN leg was with Emirates.

For sure Emirates happy with agreement – they loose nothing, have no obligation but instead pinch quite a chunk of traffic from One World by utilizing (for free!!!) QF sales and marketing department. And what Qantas get in return? Even if this agreement makes percentage of margin for Qantas looks better, I am not happy at all to see once upon time greatest carrier to be just marketing department and ticket box of Arab’s behemoth.

Many here blame Allan Joyce for all possible sins and think that he is responsible for Qantas diminishing. I disagree – there are plenty of problems around beyond Allan’s influence. But I indeed believe that he is responsible for destroying relationship with BA and jump in this unequal marriage that in my opinion only lead to QF fly less and less.

Sure deal with SQ (as some suggest) would be sweet, but I cannot see this happens anytime soon considering that SQ in Star Alliance. If QF that unhappy with BA (fail to see why, BTW) then IMHO they can look at Finnair to make far more equal partnership with smaller and very sweet European company to fly Europe. And if you think that Helsinki too far from rest of Europe and flying via Dubai more direct route, then think again – MEL-DXB-LHR is about 17090km (11600+5490) while MEL-BKK-HEL-LHR is 17070 (7350+7870+1850). Flying along equator (i.e. via DXB) is worse possible way to fly – longest and most uncomfortable because of constant equator turbulence. Not only that – splitting route that unequally means burn more fuel, i.e. pay more money.

In short – IMHO some dog and his master relationship is far more equal than EK-QF one. And if I would be that fond of gulf carrier and Dubai as transit point why I need Qantas to book on EK metal? I rather book directly – they usually cheaper.

Now pro-Emirates brigade you have yet another post to vote it down, just because you can say nothing in return, just negative voting :-))))))))

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Yeah EK flies to every major Australian city yet you have these people who go like "Oh My Gosh they now offer you this and that" 80% of Australia's population lives in capital cities and that 20% doesn't travel much anyway so Qantas domestic planes are filled with almost zero EK pax.

Qantas gets the fame for "providing" more places in Europe while Emirates gets the money from the back.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 958

I would have liked to see QF do more JSA with other oneworld members instead of EK, as they have with AA.

Tie ups with QR/BA for Europe/North Africa and tie up with 1-2 of MH/JL/CX for Asia.

 

The vast majority of my international flights are on oneworld tickets. EK are not part of oneworld. Hence I have no reason to fly on EK, even on an QF codeshare.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 283

Agreed.CX was more than find for parts of Europe they used to serve in the old days in their own right.I for one would rather an ADL-MEL QFA then connect onto Cathay via HKG for Paris or Rome with a decent schedule or MAS VIA KL.I would never fly via Dubai.

18 Apr 2015

Total posts 68

Yes good point re the impact on QF domestic (perhaps not overly significant). Also, I recall an Emirates spokesperson saying not that long ago they were happy with the relationship - particulary in the premium cabins. So while QF is filling up Emirates business class cabins, I doubt Emirates is doing the same on the domestic front due to the lower demand for business on domestic flights.

The other point I think is worth making is that Emirates was almost too quick to say they weren't interested in taking a stake in Qantas when they were having their financial crisis last year. To me it felt like Emirates could care less if Qantas folded. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

I agree 100% with Serg, the EK timings make it so bad that going to CDG direct can be a nightmare and that going via LHR could end up better. if QF just stayed in bed with BA it would been fine, but no EK wanted a piece of the action.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

How is CDG direct a nightmare? Once a year I take EK407 from MEL, arrive in DXB at 5.30am, change terminals and head out to CDG at 8.20am for a 1.30pm arrival in Paris. Plenty of time to get to the hotel, rest up and head out to dinner. Couldn't be better.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 283

They should have even considered if they for CDG dropped Air FRANCE gone with CX instead via Hong Kong.You leave MEL around mid afternoon and get into Paris early the next day.

20 Apr 2015

Total posts 21

Of course Emirates is keen to extend this, Australia and New Zealand are captive markets for them. But now that Air NZ has finally settled its differences with Singapore Airlines, and if Qantas remains keen to go its separate way from BA, I'd personally prefer Qantas to tie up with Singapore Airlines. Establish a joint venture or something that will rule Australasia and the Australia-Europe market.

Changi is a way more pleasant airport to transit in, and SIA is better than Emirates because they don't pack you like sardines

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 119

QF seem to be very distant from oneworld on the kangaroo route now.....with BA/QR/MH/CX having more cooperatiion

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2015

Total posts 59

I think the "pack you like sardines" comment is out of line. Emirates economy is really quite good and better than Qantas on an A380 of course if we are talking 777 its probably warranted.

12 Feb 2015

Total posts 86

You can have quite a debate on the relative merits of QF & EK economy. I haven't experienced EK's 777 economy, and I don't want to either. Seating-wise, the best economy seats on QF's A380s are much better than on EK A380s. The IFE on Emirates has substantially more options, although content may be censored more. Service in terms of food, beverages and cabin crew attitude is a moot point - I've usually had very good experiences with QF, and no complaint with Emirates, but I know others have had unfriendly EK crew.

Why do you think Emirates' A380 economy is better than Qantas'?

12 Feb 2015

Total posts 86

Singapore Airlines obviously isn't going to tie up with Qantas given that it is a major shareholder in Virgin Australia.

20 Apr 2015

Total posts 21

Depends on how the situation at VA turns out, with Etihad and Air NZ. SQ isn't doing that well either so might benefit from a deeper partnership with an Australian airline. If I'm Qantas, I'd go approach SQ with a proposal

20 Apr 2015

Total posts 21

Depends on how the situation at VA turns out, with Etihad and Air NZ. SQ isn't doing that well either so might benefit from a deeper partnership with an Australian airline. If I'm Qantas, I'd go approach SQ with a proposal

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 278

Nooooooo

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 94

a telling comment that EK are filling their planes with QF pax whilst providing some traffic in return to QF domestic - which QF already had already prior to the alliance...

so what is the real benefit of this alliance beyond EK's ability to directly market to QF's most valuable business travellers with free upgrades? codesharing on inferior economy and business products to achieve the lauded one stop to europe (that once layover is factored in makes it no better than previous routings) or just deliver lots of pax who are forced to overnight in the sand trap.

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

I think the winner in this relationship is Emirates, BUT that said, I certainly agree that the one-stop Dubai option is a lot better than going all the way to London with QF and then back into Europe with BA.

The big problem is that to do the one-stop Dubai option from Sydney you can't be flying on Qantas, because QF1 gets to Dubai around midnight and the first onwward flights from Dubai to Europe are from around 6am or 7am. So really, you end up flying EK all the way. Not bad, especially not for Emirates, but not ideal for Qantas.

I'd much rather see a Qantas flight which left Sydney later in the day or evening and arrived into Dubai at a better time for connecting flights, and maybe continued to London for a better arrivals time there as well.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Yeah EK is also now sitting on ADL and PER pax and this huge loyalty swap as well. 

09 Jul 2012

Total posts 11

As a QF Club & F/F and regularly fly Trans Tasman I'd much rather fly the QF A320 Jet Connect than the Emirates A380 Mega Transporter. The A380 is far too big, takes ages to board & de-board, service is impersonal & infrequent because there is 1/2 a jillion peope on board. On the Emirates flight, MEL-AKL last Monday took 1 HOUR from touch down to collecting 1 ( priority tagged) suitcase because the population of a small town fumbling & stuffing about unloading the kitchen sink from the overheads, adding 25% to the travelling time & this is Before Customs! Putting aside all the Emirates creature comforts, never again on short haul flights. On the return flight aboard QF, 1/3 the passenger load, far better service & great staff and in the customs hall inside 20 minutes . I'm off to NYC on the QF A380 next month so will reserve judgement but never again Emirates on Trans Tasman

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Graham - Couldn't disagree more. I fly MEL-AKL on EK every 8-10 weeks and it's always been a dream run for me on landing in AKL. Once the air-bridge is in place and the door open it's almost always a mere 7 minutes on average to get thru the smart gate, get my bag and through customs. Admittedly I was in J and it sounds like you were in Y, but if you sit up the front in Y on a 380 you'll be out almost as quickly as the J passengers.

09 Jul 2012

Total posts 11

Brian - Mine was a QF code share booking in Y & usually pick my seat 44/45 on EK, 2 from the door, however ended up in row lord knows where. I wasn't being flippant on the time. It was one hour before collecting my bag such was the load factor. The only thing not in the overheads were live chickens to further slow us down. Once thru smart gate etc was a breeze& straight through. Jet Conenct flights are are much easier a 1/2 of the pax capacity  Live & learn eh

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

17 Apr 2014

Total posts 15

I am not suprised that Emirates is keen to retain the partnership. I have been flying with Emirates ever since they first started into Aussie. Having said that, I have noticed in the past year that Emirates has been infected by the Qantas ethic of watering down the value of their frequent flyers. e.g. Upgrades only on check in at the airport and more points for cheaper tickets. It has got to the stage where you may as well pay for the next level up as it is not worth paying for the higher fare, because it is not that much cheaper than the next fare class. As for Virgin and Singapore airlines, the best thing they did was to cosy up. I think that SIA should offer some competition by flying their A380 on the SIN/BNE route and dropping the red eye out of BNE to SIN. One thing is for sure, the best airline in the world is still SIA for service. The trouble with Emirates is that on the 380, the service has turned into economy, even if the aircarft is half full. With SIA, they are incredible, you can press a call button and they are there in 90 seconds, EY or J.

Last trip on Emirates, it took 15 mins in J. I knew that Qantas was invloved with them.

18 Apr 2015

Total posts 68

Love it. Now Qantas is responsible for Emirates' declining service standards. Qantas didn't take over Emirates. Emirates proposed the relationship.  So Alan Joyce is not sitting up in Dubai running Emirates/Qantas alognside Tim Clark. I'd suggest you go with the more logical argument that, as Tim Clark indicated, Emirates' flights are full to Oz and this is probably affecting their award seat redemption and service levels.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

17 Apr 2014

Total posts 15

I am not suprised that Emirates wants to continue with Qantas. Having said that, I as a long term Emirates F/F, over the past years Emirates has watered down its value of their frquent flyer scheme. I feel they have been affected by the QF ethics. You want to upgrade on Emirates, now you can only do this at the airport check in, the cheaper your ticket, the more points they want. It is almost better to wait for the J specials and pay a bit more for your seats. Then we have the Emirates service in Business Class, not long ago I flew on a 380 that had about 24 passengers in J, it took 15 mins to get my call bell answered as they were swaning around at the bar end. As for VA and SIA, their  set up is now great. The longest I have had to wait for a response on a SIA aircraft Y or J is 90seconds. SIA should ditch the 3xA330's ex Brisbane and replace with 2x380's on the 910 and 2.30 or so flights and ditch the red eye. SIA you are impressive

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 283

THE BASIS OF THE REDEYE EX BNE is a late morning service out of Singapore so it feeds the people coming from India/Srilanka and parts of UK AND EUROPE.So keep that flight on SQ.

10 Mar 2014

Total posts 1

There is nothing to complain! Travelling frequently between Switzerland and Australia with EK and QF I always have very convenient connections! I only wish there was a balcony at Dubay Airport to get some unfiletred fresh air on that long journey. A nice open - air balcony on the rooftop with a bar and a nice cool beer! Cheers

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 958

They shouldn't extend the EK tie up, change it to QR.

QR flies to PER and MEL. They want to go to SYD, but not while theres a curfew.

With a QF/QR tie up, QF can route to Europe via DOH, and start SYD and BNE-DOH while QR increases MEL-DOH.

There wouldn't be any confusion over points/SC on each others flights or lounge access at different ports because both parts of the tie up with be oneworld members.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

It would have been better if QF bounced back next year rather than this year at least we would have got rid of EK and their Mr. T. But having said that it would also mean new Business coming late and etc but anyway...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Aug 2015

Total posts 3

I am a platnium flyer with Qantarse I fly regularly UK Brisbane. Tonight Qantas, through their booking web site booked me on QF8006 and suddenly you become non persona garatia.

At check in went to the business class area and helped a friend. He was offered a deal to upgrade on the Dubai Brisbane leg for around 380 pounds, not even a frequent flyer. Not offered to me, apprently platnium is not worthy.

Go upstairs to the first class lounge BA, sorry pleb, not allowed, you are flying Emirates, even difficult to get into the business class lounge. Sorry to have disturbed them.

Okay went down to the American Airlines lounge at Heathrow, polite, less people, how can we help attitude, yes of course sir please come in.

Before I got there it was a hassle.  When I went to get my seat allocation I was not allowed to get seat I wanted, it kept rejecting me but seats had been booked by others.

Went back 3 days later, seats gone but I was able to get 4th row from back in a middle. I took it and acknowledge when I went back 2 days later was able to get an aizle seat but in ?ow 70 odd, preference is up front aisle.

But why did I not get this in the first place, why does a platnium or Gold have to keep going back to check and take chances, no service, it is not acceptable.

Second leg was the same.

As for the BA Lounge 1st class at Heathrow, what a dump, long passageway as if you are entering a warehouse, it is the most unwelcoming lounge in the world, staff reflect the attitude, business class is underdone and the 4 times I have looked, overflowing.

I understand Qantas corporoate startegy, but this needs to be addressed. Us frequent flyers just want hassle free, not have to double guess, Qantas FF flying on Emirates need to be treated as is they are on a Qantas flight not some code share

Apparently Brisbane and QF flights on Emirates are toxic and bottom of heap.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Aug 2015

Total posts 3

Apologies for the typing errors above, :-)


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