Qantas has sold six times more tickets to Europe under its alliance with Emirates than it did under previous arrangements, a solid return that has fed optimism the carrier’s international operations could return to profitability sooner than expected.
“This is the most important deal in Qantas’ 90-plus-year history,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told journalists prior to the first Sydney-Dubai service this weekend.
“Before today, the Qantas network offered five one-stop code share destinations into Europe and the UK with our partners. From today, we offer access to more than 30 destinations in Europe on the combined Qantas and Emirates network.”
Joyce added that he was “very oprimistic” Qantas International would return to profitability by 2016 and said the airline would begin considering expansion plans.
Those plans hinge on the arrival of the first of the airline’s Boeing 787-9s, which Joyce said would open up the possibility of relaunching direct flights to Beijing and India as well as services to Berlin. Qantas has options on 50 787s, including 15 delivery slots in 2016.