Qantas to up transtasman capacity as Emirates cuts back

Qantas and Emirates plan to increase their direct services to New Zealand

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According to the New Zealand Herald, Emirates is also evaluating the potential for further direct flights from New Zealand to Dubai an, d in the longer run, Qantas has set itself the ambitious goal of making direct flights from Australia's east coast to Europe and the USA.

The airline will retain its existing daily A380 flights from Dubai to Christchurch via Sydney.

Emirates will still run a combined 77 weekly services from five cities - Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney - including seven daily A380 flights and Qantas passengers will still be able to fly on Emirates to Dubai and connect with European ports.

The collaboration and proposed plans mean there'll be additional services between Australia and New Zealand. It will also change some of the planes flying the Tasman from a Boeing 737-800s to a wide-body Airbus A330s.

Wednesday's move is a strong signal from Emirates that it has built a strong enough presence in the New Zealand market to go it alone on long-haul routes.

The changes will "enable Emirates to reschedule its Australia flights to create a better spread of departure times throughout the day", the statement said.

The new agreement, which needs to be signed off by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, includes a recently-announced major overhaul of routes that were part of the initial five-year Qantas-Emirates partnership agreement.

Airline president Sir Tim Clark said the it was a "no brainer" to continue sponsorship of the America's Cup holders.

"It will enable us to continue developing world-class customer experiences, and contribute to stimulating increased opportunities for worldwide trade, tourism and commerce". We are now enhancing the partnership to reflect customer demand, new aircraft technology and our respective network strengths.

Customers with existing bookings impacted by the changes will be re-accommodated onto the new services or will be given the option to change their flights. "So, we expect this should provide greater opportunities for New Zealand-based cabin crew", says Kelvin.

More than eight million passengers have travelled on the joint network, travelling more than 65 billion kilometres.

"This also de-risks Emirates' exposure because in the past, it would have been directly competing with Qantas to vie for that same trans-Tasman and New Zealand traffic whereas now, they can hone in on operation synergies, reduce direct competition and harness the benefits of a more interconnected network where Qantas flies between Australia and New Zealand using their own airplanes", he added.

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