Qantas and Emirates lodged (10-Sep-2012) a joint formal submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) seeking approval for their proposed 10-year partnership and for interim approval to enable the airlines to begin commercial planning. The airlines expect the partnership will improve connectivity, provide greater choice of travel from Australia to Europe, Middle East and Africa while also enhancing benefits for frequent flyers. The airlines also expect the alliance to boost product innovation and create jobs and tourism opportunities. Competitors are expected to be forced to introduce more competitive fares and product. If approved, the partnership will see Qantas and Emirates offer 98 weekly Australia-Dubai frequencies while Qantas will gain one-stop access to over 70 Emirates destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Emirates will gain access to Qantas' domestic Australian network of over 50 destinations and 5000 flights per week. The airlines would also coordinate on services between Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Qantas warned it would be forced to stop operating to Europe and further decrease its international operations if the partnership with Emirates was not to be approved. Qantas stated, “The proposed conduct is essential to underwrite the sustainability of Qantas International and to continue to provide substantial benefits to Australia and Australians.” [more - original PR] [more - CAPA Analysis]
Qantas and Emirates lodge formal submission to the ACCC
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Gulf airlines in Australia/New Zealand: 2017 could surpass 2016's record growth
Qatar Airways' casual remark in Jan-2016 that it would launch nonstop service to Auckland has resulted in nearly two years of accelerated growth as competitors look to pre-empt Qatar. That, in turn, is driving Qatar to build its presence in Australia and New Zealand – which is disproportionately small compared to the presence of Emirates and Etihad. In Feb-2017 Qatar will finally launch nonstop service to Auckland, making that air service the world's longest flight. After the launch of flights to Australia's secondary city of Adelaide in May-2016, Qatar intends to open service to another smaller market – Canberra.
2016 was the most prominent year for Gulf airlines growing in Australia and New Zealand. Excluding Qatar's proposed Canberra service, and other services under consideration, 2017 will be the third largest year for growth, but depending on how commercial and aeropolitical matters evolve, 2017 could surpass 2016 for growth. So far, there will be more absolute growth from Qatar than Emirates in 2017, by comparison with 2016.
In Australia/NZ Gulf airlines have doubled their presence between 2012 and 2017. In Australia/New Zealand, by 2020, Gulf airlines could create the presence of two Singapore Airlines, an operation which established itself over many decades. Gulf growth has broader implications as their mostly European traffic flows challenge historical Australia-Europe hubs in Asia.
Europe summer 2017 airline capacity outlook: fifth successive summer of above trend seat growth
Airline seat growth from Europe in summer 2017 is set to stay at almost 6% for the third successive summer, according to data from OAG. This rate had not previously been reached since 2010, although this will be the fifth straight summer of growth ahead of its 10 year average rate. The summer 2017 season started on 26-Mar-2017 and, although always subject to further change, the data give a fairly clear picture.
Seat capacity on routes from Europe to Africa will grow the fastest, as the region recovers from a terrorism related drop in demand in North Africa. There will also be above trend growth in almost every other region from Europe (including intra Europe). The only exception is Europe-Middle East, where the newly cautious Gulf airlines' growth is slowing this summer.
On the North Atlantic, always important for the profitability of Europe's leading legacy airlines, growth will be faster than its 10 year trend, but it will at least be a little slower than in the past summer. The loss of market share from the immunised North Atlantic JVs to newer and smaller competitors, including LCCs, is set to continue. As ever, the OAG capacity data provide a window into the changing structure of the airline markets from Europe.