Qantas has announced that its partnership with Emirates Airline is paying off one year after it was launched, with inbound tourism data showing increasing passenger numbers for Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
In the last 12 months Qantas says over one million passengers have used the codesharing alliance to fly through Dubai and onwards to more than 65 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
It also says the partnership has made it easier for Emirates passengers to book on Qantas domestic services, and that regional cities in particular are benefitting.
“The partnership with Emirates has opened up 32 destinations on the Qantas domestic network, making travel to and within Australia easy for visitors and providing tourism operators with new opportunities from international tourists visiting the country,” Qantas International CEO Simon Hickey said.
“Outside our city gateways, international customers have purchased an average of five times more fares to the top regional centres including Cairns and Hobart than under our previous partnership arrangements for Europe, and we have seen a significant increase in bookings for new codeshare destinations including Alice Springs, Darwin and Townsville.”
Still, comments by Emirates Airline president, the newly-knighted Sir Tim Clark, suggest the alliance is yet to reach its full potential.
“The partnership is doing what we thought it would do,” Sir Tim told British newspaper The Telegraph in a March 22 interview.
“It hasn’t helped that they have had problems. When that happens to a relatively small group, there are other things that fall slightly by the wayside.
“I’m not saying for a moment that Alan [Joyce] has let our relationship between the two companies and the endgame . . . slip, it’s just that he has got quite a tough situation on his hands.”
The paper reported that earlier in March Clark had visited Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in Sydney for their “first get-together of any real flesh” since the alliance launched.
That alliance operates 98 flights a week from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to Dubai and on to more than 65 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Of those Qantas operates daily Sydney-Dubai-London (QF1/QF2) and Melbourne-Dubai-London (QF9/10) flights with A380s.