Big alliance shakeup: Qantas ties knot with Emirates, ends BA codeshare deal

Skift Take

Qantas, the troubled Australian airlines, has seen the writing on the wall: that Middle East is the future of global aviation hub. And competition between Emirates, Etihad & Qatar airways can only be good for the passengers everywhere.

— Rafat Ali

Qantas is the latest convert to the reality of a Middle East hub following a codeshare agreement with the behemoth of them all – Emirates – that will see Qantas from Apr-2013 shift its European stopover hub from from Singapore to Dubai as well as use Dubai for onward connections on Emirates’ network primarily to Europe, a market that has been bleeding for Qantas for some time without any sight of profitability.

The approach replicates that of Virgin Australia’s partnership with Etihad, one plank in Virgin’s successful strategy that has caused Qantas to re-evaluate nearly every aspect of its business. Neither airline will hold shares in the other, but instead will focus on building an “integrated network”, including coordinated pricing, sales and scheduling, the carriers said in a statement…the pact will see the demise of Qantas’s longstanding revenue-sharing agreement with British Airways on the so-called kangaroo route between Australia and Britain.

Qantas says it will not have to leave the Oneworld alliance of carriers. The changes, though, will also see Qantas ditch its codesharing agreements with Cathay Pacific and Air France.

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