In one of two separate press statements issued today, Emirates said it had been given the green light from New Zealand’s Minster of Transport to share flights with Qantas on trans-Tasman routes, provided the carriers maintain the present level of services.
Earlier this year Australia’s competition regulator had approved a wider alliance between the airlines – mainly focused on routes to Europe via Emirates’ Dubai hub – but said they must maintain existing capacity on four overlapping trans-Tasman routes due to fears that fares could rise.
New Zealand’s government has now added its approval, initially for five years, saying it will monitor trans-Tasman competition. The agreement means Emirates can now list Queenstown and Wellington as destinations on its network.
In welcoming today’s announcement, President of Emirates Tim Clark, said: “This is a game-changing partnership that brings together two of the world’s best airlines and offers some of the highest quality travel experiences. Dubai is a leading global hub and through it, our two airlines will connect New Zealand to Europe, the UK and Northern Africa more smoothly than ever before.”
Emirates widens deal with Jet Blue
Also today, Emirates and New York-based carrier Jet Blue said they plan to expand their current partnership to include bilateral codesharing, pending regulatory approval.
Under the expanded agreement, JetBlue will place its “B6″ airline code on all flights currently operated by Emirates between the US and Dubai International Airport, as well as between New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport and Milan, Italy.
The agreement deepens a three-year partnership between JetBlue and Emirates.
Emirates started placing its code on select JetBlue-operated flights in April 2012, expanding an interline agreement that dates back to 2010.
Current codeshare routes offered by Emirates on JetBlue-operated flights cover 28 destinations including Boston, Chicago, Orlando and Puerto Rico.
Since March this year, Emirates also began placing its code on additional JetBlue routes, including Bridgetown, Barbados, Cancun, Mexico, Montego Bay, Jamaica and Santo Domingo, Santiago and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ executive vice president of Passenger Sales Worldwide, said: “As Emirates continues to expand its presence in the US market, our partnership offering with JetBlue provides customers with convenient connections from its extensive network to our seven US gateways, including our twice daily A380 service non-stop from JFK to Dubai.
“Offering a boost to tourism and added convenience for inbound travellers, the codeshare also gives Emirates’ customers a new choice of destinations with the benefit of a single combined ticket.”
“Putting our code on another airline is a significant milestone for JetBlue; we’re proud to do it with Emirates, a fantastic partner for JetBlue over the past years,” added JetBlue’s chief commercial officer Robin Hayes.
Emirates’ global network encompasses 133 destinations in 77 countries across six continents and the airline currently operates 56 passenger flights per week between Dubai and the US including flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC and the twice daily A380 service from JFK to Dubai International Airport.