More than one year into their high profile partnership, the Qantas-Emirates partnership is exactly where the Dubai-based airline wants it, according to its Australasia vice president Barry Brown.
Speaking to media at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Brown confirmed Emirates is still happy with the performance of the tie-up, with the relationship of continuing benefit to both parties.
“Quite frankly we’re a good fit. As I said 12 months ago, if you overlay our schedules we are natural brothers,” he said. “It’s where we want it and it is continuing to evolve. For Emirates' customers it’s opened up another 40 destinations and 5000 flights per week we connect to.”
In regards to Qantas’ current difficulties, Brown was adamant that the relationship hasn’t been stressed as a result.
“It hasn’t strained the relationship. I think it’s given them some problems to look at,” he said. “We’ve got a partnership, you don’t just put that on the shelf at walk away, you enhance that. The chemistry is there so it’s working for both of us.”
But he insisted that Emirates would not consider an acquisition of the Flying Kangaroo if it were to be freed up for sale by the Australian Government.
“We’ve said from the beginning we won’t take equity. It’s not in our DNA to do that, we will continue to talk partnerships as long as it makes sense to both sides.”
Qantas too has highlighted its satisfaction with the tie-up's performance to date. On the first anniversary of the partnership, Qantas International chief executive Simon Hickey said the partnership had been given a “clear stamp of approval” by its Australian customers.
More than one million passengers travelled through Dubai and onwards to more than 65 destinations across the Middle East, North Africa, the UK and Europe over the first 12 months.
“The reaction to the partnership has been extremely positive to the point where the highest customer satisfaction ratings across our international network are on flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Dubai,” Hickey said.
“Since Qantas began flying through Dubai, there has been an increased interest from Australians in Dubai as a holiday destination with travelers now staying on average between two and seven nights.”
The airline reported particular benefits for inbound tourism, especially in regional areas.