SYDNEY- Rumours about a potential alliance between Qantas and Emirates Airlines is gaining ground. The national carrier which is struggling more than some other airlines as its core business is far from any large catchment area. Spiralling fuel prices consequently weight more on the carrier’s balance than for any other large carrier. Qantas is considered as an end-line airline, which needs to shift the core of its traffic to a base where hub and spoke operations (flight connections) would be more relevant and rational from an economic point of view.
Qantas has then developed a five-year strategy which foresees -among others- a larger operation on the Asian continent but also the search for an international alliance partner. The name of Emirates circulates meanwhile more and more despite an official statement released a few days ago stressing that “at any one time, Qantas may be in contact with a wide range of companies about potential commercial cooperation”.
A link to Emirates would have big consequences for Qantas strategy as well as services to Australia. If both airlines achieve a far-reaching agreement, Qantas will reroute many of its international flights through Dubai rather than Singapore and might only keep London as a European destination flown on its own. Uncertainties would also linger over its alliance with British Airways as Emirates would then gain a large chunk of the most desirable “Kangaroo Route”, which links the UK and Australia.
If a strategic alliance between Qantas and Emirates would definitely take time – the Australian government is likely to take a close look to it-, a code share agreement is more likely to happen between both airlines. According to news agency Reuters, Qantas and Emirates are believed to be edging closer to sealing a code share arrangement that would allow them to sell tickets on each other's flights.