Qantas stands to gain a new global partner airline as Aer Lingus rejoins Oneworld following BA's take-over of the Irish national carrier.
The £1bn (A$2bn) buy-out by British Airways' parent International Airlines Group has received the approval of the Irish parliament as well as Ryanair, which holds a 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus.
IAG chief Willie Walsh has confirmed that under his watch Aer Lingus would rejoin the Oneworld airline alliance.
Aer Lingus signed up to Oneworld airline alliance in 1999 but left in 2007 as part of a strategic shift away from the premium market to become a low-cost airline.
The airline has since reversed course, to the extent that it's signed up for nine Airbus A350s which from 2018 will fly with 42 business class and 223 economy class seats.
Earlier this year Aer Lingus also upgraded the business class experience for its flights between Dublin and the USA.
The seats convert into a fully flat bed and offer direct aisle access to most passengers.
There's also AC and USB power outlets at each seat, free wi-fi and an improved meal service with matching wines.
For more on the new seats and service, take the virtual tour below:
Qantas currently allows its frequent flyer members to earn points (but not status credits) on Aer Lingus flights with an EI flight number.
Ironically, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce began his career at Aer Lingus working in areas including research, fleet and network planning and IT.
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