Qantas moves ahead with Dubai shift

Qantas moves ahead with Dubai shift
By admin

Qantas has formally applied to operate twice daily flights to London via Dubai as it reshapes its UK and Singapore-bound schedule.

The application to the International Air Services Commission (IASC) – which will be a formality – comes as Qantas and Emirates withdrew a bid for interim authorisation for their alliance.

Qantas said it will shift its hub for London flights from Singapore to Dubai irrespective of whether the alliance receives approval.

The revised Qantas schedule does not require coordination between the two airlines and therefore does not need approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commisison (ACCC), Qantas said in a statement.

Referring to the withdrawal for interim approval, Olivia Wirth, group executive government and corporate affairs, said: “From today, Qantas and Emirates will start initial work on our proposed partnership, following discussion with the ACCC and our decision to withdraw our request for interim authorisation.

“We took a conservative approach to this issue for obvious reasons, but we are now comfortable that Qantas and Emirates can do a significant amount of preparatory work without interim authorisation.

“We’re continuing to work with the ACCC as they consider our application for substantive authorisation.”

Virgin Australia and its alliance partners Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines all objected to the granting of interim approval, arguing the case was just too complex to issue any form of early go-ahead.

Qantas has sought approval from the IASC to operate daily A380 flights from both Sydney and Melbourne with the capacity to be fully utilised by October 31. Customers will be able to book flights through Dubai to London for travel from March 31.

Other changes to its schedule will see Qantas operate four new dedicated Singapore flights per week from Sydney, timed to better connect with onwards flights across Asia, with a seven times weekly service from Melbourne to Singapore.

Qantas will codeshare with British Airways on flights from Singapore to London.

Full details of the new schedule will be available soon.

Qantas International chief executive Simon Hickey claimed the proposed alliance with Emirates has received “overwhelmingly positive” feedback.

“The proposed partnership with Emirates will offer Qantas customers one-stop access to more than 30 destinations in Europe compared with the five we have now,” he said. “By releasing our schedule now, travellers can book their trips beyond March 2013 with confidence based on the new Qantas international route map.”

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