Qantas has taken the next steps towards establishing its new gateway to Europe and the UK, enabling customers to book flights through the global hub of Dubai for travel from 31 March 2013.
The revised Qantas routes, Sydney-Dubai-London and Melbourne-Dubai-London, come as the ACCC considers the proposed Qantas-Emirates partnership, which remains subject to regulatory approval. Today’s schedule changes do not involve coordination between the airlines and do not require ACCC
CEO of Qantas International, Simon Hickey, said routing flights via Dubai would ultimately enable improved travel options offered through the proposed partnership.
“The proposed partnership with Emirates will offer Qantas customers one-stop access to more than 30 destinations in Europe compared with the five we offer now,” said Mr Hickey.
“The benefits for the travelling public are clear and feedback we’ve had since the Emirates partnership was announced has been overwhelmingly positive.
“By releasing our schedules now, travellers can book their trips beyond March 2013 with confidence based on the new Qantas international route map.
“The Kangaroo Route used to pass through the Middle East on its way from Australia to London and now it will again,” Mr Hickey added.
Qantas will start initial work with Emirates on its proposed partnership from today, following
discussions with the ACCC and withdrawal of the airline’s request for interim authorisation. The ACCC is considering the airlines’ substantive application for authorisation.
Qantas has also made a series of other adjustments to its international flight schedule, focused on giving customers more choice and flexibility. Qantas services to Frankfurt will continue until October 2013 and flights to Singapore will be timed so that they connect better with onward flights within Asia.
The new schedule will be available shortly on qantas.com and via travel agents.
Qantas will contact passengers with existing bookings to Europe or the UK after 31 March 2013 affected by these changes to offer them alternative flights. Customers with bookings prior to this date are not impacted by the change.
SUMMARY OF SCHEDULE CHANGES
ROUTE CHANGE FOR TRAVEL FROM 31 MARCH 2013
Sydney–Singapore–London and Melbourne–Singapore–London: Flights will operate via Dubai instead of Singapore, en route to London. Direct services to Singapore will remain but timings will improve.
Sydney–Singapore: Four new dedicated Singapore services per week, timed to better connect to onward flights within Asia.
Melbourne–Singapore: Dedicated Singapore service, seven times a week, timed to connect better to onward flights within Asia.
Singapore–London: Qantas services on this sector will cease. Qantas will codeshare on British Airways flights to provide connections via Singapore for travellers on Qantas services from Australia.
BACKGROUND ON REGULATORY APPROVALS
How does this announcement on Qantas schedules relate to the regulatory approval process for the Qantas-Emirates partnership?
Today’s announcement on Qantas’ schedules reflects that Qantas is adjusting its international network irrespective of whether its partnership with Emirates is approved. The revised Qantas schedule does not require coordination between the two airlines and therefore does not need ACCC approval.
Separately, Qantas and Emirates have applied to the ACCC to authorise a partnership that will involve coordination of product, capacity and pricing.
What approval does Qantas need to offer flights to Dubai?
Qantas is in the process of securing the traffic rights and landing slots required to operate these services from 31 March 2013.