Qantas has reinstated a codeshare agreement with Air France for flights between Australia and France via Asia that was dropped six years ago when it forged a global alliance with Emirates.
Under the new agreement, Qantas will add its QF airline code on Air France’s daily nonstop flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong and Singapore.
Similarly, Air France will place its AF airline code on Qantas’s flights from Singapore to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well as from Hong Kong to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. It will all codeshare on Qantas-operated domestic flights from Sydney to Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Darwin and Hobart.
The new agreement will see the two airlines codeshare on about 200 flights per week, depending on the time of the year, the pair said in a statement on Wednesday.
Eligible Air France and Qantas frequent flyers will also have access to the airlines’ premium passenger lounges in Australia, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Qantas International chief executive Alison Webster said the codeshare with Air France would give customers another option to get to Paris via Asia, as well as another opportunity to earn frequent flyer points.
“The return of this popular codeshare delivers on our strategy of partnering to provide customers with access to an expanded network and more seamless travel experiences wherever they want to fly,” Webster said in a statement.
Currently, Qantas codeshares on Emirates’ services from Australia to Paris via Dubai. The Emirates alliance that was formed in 2012 and recently renewed for a further five years, covers destinations in Asia, Europe, Oceania, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as a reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.
The tie-up led to Qantas winding up its joint-business agreement with British Airways on Australia-Europe services and rerouting its flights to London via Emirates’ Dubai hub rather than Singapore. It also ended codesharing arrangements with the likes of Air France and Cathay Pacific to a number of destinations in Europe.
However, in March 2018, Qantas returned to the Singapore-London Heathrow route and ended flights to Dubai with its own aircraft. It also started nonstop Perth-London Heathrow flights with Boeing 787-9s, the first regularly scheduled passenger flights linking the continents of Australia and Europe.
The announcement of the codeshare with Air France comes as Qantas evaluates more destinations, including Paris, it could serve nonstop from Perth as it takes delivery of more 787-9 aircraft.
Meanwhile, the restoration of the codeshare with Qantas will give Air France another Asian gateway for its passengers looking travel to Australia.
Air France has codeshare agreements with China Eastern (via Shanghai), China Airlines (via Taipei), China Southern (via Guangzhou), Delta Air Lines (via Los Angeles), Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi), Singapore Airlines (via Singapore) for travel between Paris and Australia, according to a dummy booking on the airline’s website.
The Air France website also lists itineraries that include Qantas-operated flights with a QF airline code.
Air France-KLM executive vice president for commercial sales and alliances Patrick Alexandre said the airline was very pleased to be re-establishing a partnership with Qantas.
“Thanks to this agreement, the Air France-KLM group will be able to offer one of the best possible travel solutions for its customers from Europe to Australia,” Alexandre said.
“It will also deliver a better travel experience for our business customers, with connections in Singapore and Hong Kong, two of the most popular airports in the world. This new cooperation confirms our group’s desire to expand in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The airlines said the new codeshare flights would be available for booking from June 5, for travel from July 20.