Qantas flight lands in Dubai
Dubai, April 1, 2013
The first Qantas flight arrived in Dubai today from Sydney, marking the inauguration of a five-year alliance between the Australian airline and the Dubai-based Emirates Airline.
The alliance includes operating daily Qantas flights from Sidney and Melbourne to Dubai, providing Qantas and Emirates customers with increased access to a number of existing frequencies and destinations under a single airline code. Qantas will also shift its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai.
The tie-up, approved last week by Australia's competition watchdog, also allows the two airlines to coordinate ticket prices and schedules.
Australia's Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese, accompanied by the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport Mike Mrdak, arrived in Dubai on the flight.
Yesterday, Emirates and Qantas launched their new partnership in Sydney with two Airbus A380s (one each from the two airlines) making a tandem flight over the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
In the last six months flights between the UAE and Australia have increased by over a third, from 94 to 126 . Emirates Airline operates 84 weekly services between Dubai and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide and Etihad Airways operates 25 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, said a Wam report.
Virgin Australia operates three weekly services between Sydney and Abu Dhabi, while Qantas will now operate 7 weekly services from both Sydney and Melbourne to Dubai and London.
In 2012, around 195,000 passengers flew between the UAE and Australia. Strong aviation links between the two countries can be expected to bring other economic benefits, as the UAE now ranks amongst Australia's top 15 trading partners.