Emirates president and CEO Tim Clark has described the process of executing his airline’s new alliance with Qantas, which comes into place on March 31, as a “Herculean task”.
Speaking in Sydney on Sunday before the departure of the inaugural Qantas QF1 service to London to operate via Dubai, Clark explained there were ” literally hundreds and hundreds of issues that had to be addressed” in preparing for the alliance.
“The alignment of processes, the alignment of the practices that have got to be aligned to make that work, whether that be the customer fronting issues, inflight services, ground services, the information technology systems that go behind to drive our reservation systems, our departure control systems, our revenue accounting systems, one can go on,” Clark said.
“As we moved towards this day and the approval particularly from the Australian authorities, came together, so the intensity of the work increased, to make sure we had price alignment, product alignment, communication alignment… I could list literally hundreds and hundreds of issues that had to be addressed.”
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the Emirates alliance was the biggest commercial agreement Qantas had participated in. “There were 22 IT projects in Qantas alone aligning systems.”
Joyce said executing the alliance was a “massive” process. In addition to the commercial and regulatory approval aspects, Joyce noted Qantas is “changing hubs, we are moving from Singapore to Dubai, which is a huge operational issue.” He said Sunday’s formation flight of a Qantas and Emirates A380 over Sydney Harbour, “which looked so easy”, was a microcosm of the cooperation required to execute the alliance.