Dubai airline Emirates plans to introduce additional network changes under its joint partnership with Australian airline Qantas, it announced on Wednesday.
From March 2018, Emirates will stop flying daily services to the New Zealand city of Auckland via Melbourne and Brisbane and will only continue its non-stop Auckland-Dubai service.
The airline will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney.
Emirates is also evaluating potential new direct services between New Zealand and Dubai, it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Qantas will increase the frequency of its services between Australia and New Zealand, adding seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return services per week between Brisbane and Auckland.
Some of these services will be switched from a Boeing 737 flight to an A330.
Qantas’ new trans-Tasman services will carry the Emirates code and will connect to its London services via Perth or Singapore and Emirates’ services between Australia and Europe via Dubai.
The changes will “enable Emirates to reschedule its Australia flights to create a better spread of departure times throughout the day”, the statement said.
Emirates customers with existing bookings impacted by the changes will be re-accommodated onto Qantas services or will be given the option to change their flights.
Tickets for Qantas’ new Tasman services will be available progressively from tomorrow.
“By ending flights between Melbourne/Brisbane to Auckland, Emirates will benefit from reduced costs,” opined Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.
“This also de-risks Emirates’ exposure because in the past, it would have been directly competing with Qantas to vie for that same trans-Tasman and New Zealand traffic whereas now, they can hone in on operation synergies, reduce direct competition and harness the benefits of a more interconnected network where Qantas flies between Australia and New Zealand using their own airplanes,” he added.
The new changes are included in the airlines’ application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and New Zealand Minister of Transport to extend their partnership for another five years until 2023.
The joint submission also includes Qantas’ re-routing of its Sydney-London service via Singapore rather than Dubai and Emirates’ new, fourth daily A380 Sydney-Dubai service.
President of Emirates airline, Sir Tim Clark, said the first five years of the partnership has been a “success”.
“Reauthorisation of the partnership will allow us to leverage our combined network strengths,” he said.