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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Emirates cuts Auckland flights as part of renewed Qantas partnership

Airline is planning new direct routes to New Zealand from Dubai

Emirates and Qantas A380 aircraft at Kingsford Smith international airport in Sydney. Daniel Munoz / Reuters
Emirates and Qantas A380 aircraft at Kingsford Smith international airport in Sydney. Daniel Munoz / Reuters

Emirates will drop its flights to Auckland from Melbourne and Brisbane next year in the latest adjustment to its Australian operations, following the renewal of its partnership with Australia's Qantas.

The Dubai-based airline will drop the flights from next March, while Qantas will add seven new return flights per week between Melbourne and Auckland and an extra two return services per week between Brisbane and Auckland.

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"These changes reflect customer demand and the airlines’ respective network strengths and provide more options for customers to travel between Australia and New Zealand to Asia, the UK/Europe, Middle East and Africa," said Emirates in a statement on Wednesday.

Qantas’ new services will carry an Emirates code and will connect to Qantas’ London services via Perth or Singapore, and Emirates’ services between Australia and Europe via Dubai.

Emirates will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney, and is also considering additional direct services between Dubai and New Zealand.

Daniel Munoz / Reuters
Daniel Munoz / Reuters

Qantas announced in August that it would drop Dubai as a transit hub for some of its London flights, as part of a new extension of the carrier’s partnership arrangement with Emirates Airlines. The Australian carrier was keen to emphasise that the rerouting would not adversely affect Emirates or the carriers' relationship, with Qantas passengers still able to transit through Dubai by flying on Emirates planes.

The routing changes are part of a new five year partnership agreement signed between Qantas and Emirates, currently awaiting authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and New Zealand's minister of transport.

“Reauthorisation of the partnership will allow us to leverage our combined network strengths to offer customers even more flight choices and reciprocal benefits for our millions of frequent flyer members," said Emirates president Tim Clark.

“It will enable us to continue developing world-class customer experiences, and contribute to stimulating increased opportunities for international trade, tourism and commerce.”

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