For the past five years, Qantas has had a very strong relationship with Emirates. They codeshare, and feed passengers to each other as well as a loyalty program partnership. Since then, Qantas’ Kangaroo Route has been routed via Dubai. There, Qantas’ passengers have had access to Emirates’ lounges. This was a great asset, given how great the Emirates Lounges are in Dubai. This year, the partnership was up for renewal. It seems that there have been some major tweaks in what the airlines are looking for with this partnership.
Qantas Returns Roo Route to Singapore
For starters, Qantas is returning their famous Kangaroo route to Singapore. Before the Emirates partnership, Qantas flew all of their routes to Europe via Singapore. This move signals a return to the old routing, but it does not mean that the Emirates partnership is over. On the contrary, it involves a strengthened partnership between the two carriers. The logic behind it is that Emirates no longer needs Qantas’ aircraft to shuttle passengers from Dubai to Oceania. This will allow the airline to fly more aircraft to Asia, where the demand for flights to Australia is booming. The airline recently announced a plan to update their long haul A380s with improved cabin classes. They also plan to launch more A380 flights to Asia.
I think they picked Singapore because the airport offers a lot of demand for flights to Australia. This being said, I don’t think it’s their best option. British Airways operates their Kangaroo route from Singapore as well. This will lead to competition between both oneWorld carriers, which is both good and bad. As far as for alternative airports, I don’t think there are many other good options. Hong Kong could be possible, in order to feed passengers to-from Cathay Pacific flights, but CX also flies 3-4 times daily to Australia. I think this is a big win for Singapore Airport. They will get 11 weekly flights more from Qantas. Four of these flights are to Melbourne, and once daily from Sydney.
Since the original Emirates-Qantas partnership was announced, there have been major changes in the industry. Since then, oil prices have fallen drastically, affecting both carriers differently. With Emirates being state owned, the airline has seen its margins decrease, as their home country is very oil-dependent. Qantas, on the other hand, has taken advantage of low oil prices and expanded their fleet as well. The airline will take delivery of their first 787-9 very soon. This plane will also change the dynamics of the Kangaroo route. The plane will fly from Perth to London non-stop. This is the first time a commercial flight can go from Australia to the UK non-stop. The question is whether the flight will be economically viable, given flying time is around 18 hours.
I consider this an interesting development in the Qantas-Emirates cooperation. I don’t think passengers will be all that affected, but I expect this is a sign that the partnership will begin to change. With Emirates no longer depending on Qantas, and Qantas relying a bit more on Emirates for connections to Europe, EK will have the upper hand. When the new partnership is renewed 5 years from now, I can see Emirates dumping Qantas, and Qantas finding a new partner. We will have to see how the playing field changes from now until then, but I see this as a frank possibility.
What do you think? Is the Qantas-Emirates partnership change for the better? Do you like their pick of Singapore as a stopover? If not, which other city could they have used? Let us know!
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