Qantas and Emirates aim to extend their alliance across the Tasman in the coming months as the airlines launch shared routes and take on the incumbent Virgin Australia / Air New Zealand partnership.
Headlining the Qantas/Emirates push will be Emirates' A380 superjumbos, which currently fly from Sydney and Melbourne to Auckland – with Brisbane to follow from October 2 – offering true international-grade business class for trips over the pond.
(At a little over three hours, this is also one of the world's shortest Airbus A380 flights.)
Travellers will be able to book Emirates' trans-Tasman flights as codeshare services under Qantas flight numbers, resulting in a larger haul of frequent flyer points and status credits.
"As we’ve done in other markets, we’re in discussion with Emirates around aligning fares on trans-Tasman routes at the same time as setting up codeshare arrangements" a Qantas spokesman told Australian Business Traveller.
"We hope this will be completed in about a month or so."
Qantas is also expected to change its timetable for AU-NZ flights to avoid Qantas and Emirates flights operating around the same time, resulting in a wider spread of services throughout the day.
The move could also see new flights into other New Zealand destinations rather than overload cities like Auckland with too much capacity.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT