Australian and UAE flag carriers Qantas and Emirates have signed a commercial agreement, forming the world’s largest airline partnership.
With no equity investment from either side, the ten-year partnership will “deliver the best in networks, frequencies, lounges, loyalty programmes and customer experience,” according to Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce.
Pending approval by regulatory bodies, it was also revealed that from April 2013, Qantas will transfer its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai’s Terminal 3. Approval is also being sought to integrate the carriers’ networks, with coordinated pricing, sales and scheduling and a benefit-sharing model.
The new partnership has signalled the end of 17-year-long joint business between British Airways’ owner IAG and Qantas. IAG’s Chief Executive Willie Walsh commented: “We’re ending the joint business on amicable terms and support Qantas’ decision to work with Emirates. The world has changed since 1995 when the joint business started.”