July 26, 2012
Hub ... the control tower at Dubai airport.
Qantas Airways has confirmed it is in talks with a number of airlines about potential alliances, including Dubai-based Emirates.
Shares in Qantas have soared following reports the airline was set to establish an alliance with Emirates, the world’s largest international airline.
At 1328 AEST, Qantas shares were trading 9.5 cents, or 9.6 per cent, higher at $1.085.
Qantas said that making alliance partnerships stronger was one of the four pillars of the group’s five-year strategy announced in August 2011.
‘‘At any one time, Qantas may be in contact with a wide range of companies about potential commercial cooperation,’’ Qantas said in a statement today.
‘‘These airlines include Emirates, among others.’’
Qantas said it would not comment on the nature or status of the talks.
A code-sharing deal would result in Qantas flying to Dubai, and Emirates transferring passengers to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The report said Qantas was set to withdraw from its last remaining port in mainland Europe, Frankfurt, and route many of its London flights through Dubai instead of Singapore.
The alliance would give Qantas the option of retiring aircraft early or pushing into Asia more aggressively.
In June, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce would not confirm or deny the flying kangaroo was in talks with Emirates about a commercial partnership.
Emirates president Tim Clark said at the time he was open to working with Qantas to try to expand Emirates’ network in Oceania.
Qantas is on track to post its first loss since its full privatisation since 1995 because of heavy losses in its international arm.
Separately, a report in Malaysia's The Edge, said Malaysian Airline System Bhd may revisit a joint venture plan with Australia's Qantas as part of its strategy to boost interlining revenue by over 40 per cent, as it becomes an official member of OneWorld Alliance in 2013.
MAS senior vice-president of international affairs Germal Singh told a briefing yesterday that the national carrier is particularly interested in teaming up with Qantas and its JV partner British Airways to tap the "Kangaroo route" which refers the routes Qantas flies between Australia and the UK, via Asia. More than 20 airlines operate the route.
Emirates and Qantas, meanwhile, were in talks about connections between the Dubai-based Emirates' international network and Qantas's domestic one, Alan Joyce, chief executive officer of the Australian airline, told reporters on May 26.
Mr Clark said carrier was examining a “commercial arrangement” with Qantas to benefit from the Australian aviation market, while stopping short of taking an equity stake in the company, in a June 11 interview with Bloomberg Television.
A tie-up with Emirates would increase the ease of travel to European destinations for Qantas passengers as the company's main domestic rival Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. increases ties with Etihad Airways PJSC, based in Dubai's neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Australian regulators this month allowed Etihad to raise its stake in Virgin Australia to 10 per cent.
Qantas and partners, including International Consolidated Airlines Group SA's British Airways unit, can only operate one- stop flights to five destinations in Europe and the Middle East. Virgin Australia is able to fly one-stop to more than 30 destinations in the region through its tie-up with Etihad.
Qantas could potentially add more than 40 one-stop destinations through an Emirates deal, based on route maps on the airlines' websites.
Bloomberg, Reuters, AAP