Emirates said it may reach a codeshare agreement with Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) within six months as the Australian carrier seeks a partner to help revive unprofitable international operations.
“We’ve been engaging with them for some time,” Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum told reporters in Dubai yesterday. “The objective is to eventually see Qantas fly through Dubai.” The two sides aren’t discussing a revenue- sharing accord, he said.
A tie-up may boost Qantas’s overseas business as the carrier would be able to access Emirates’ network of flights from Dubai, widening the range of one-stop services it can offer on Australia-Europe routes. Emirates would gain access to an Australian sales network run by the country’s largest carrier.
Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. (VAH), the country’s No. 2 carrier, has formed a similar partnership with part-owner Etihad Airways PJSC that lets it sell one-stop tickets to Europe via Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s neighboring emirate. Qantas only offers one-stop trips to five European cities, via Singapore or Hong Kong, according to a route map on its website. It doesn’t fly to Dubai.
Qantas has forecast that losses on international routes probably doubled to A$450 million ($473 million) in the year ended June because of higher fuel costs and market-share losses. The airline also predicted its first net loss since listing. Qantas is scheduled to report earnings on Aug. 23.
Emirates operates 70 flights a week to Australia and plans to increase frequencies on routes including Adelaide and Perth. The carrier flies 176 aircraft, including the largest fleet of Airbus A380s, to 124 destinations, it said July 4.
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