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Qantas to Launch Chauffeur Service in April

Qantas to Launch Chauffeur Service in April

Qantas is to launch a complimentary chauffeur drive service for premium passengers in April, as part of the airline’s partnership with Emirates. First Class and Business Class passengers travelling on Qantas’s route from London to Australia via Dubai will be offered a chauffeur car at both ends of the journey.

From July, the benefit will be extended to Qantas flights over 12 hours in length, such as those to Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, Santiago and Johannesburg.

Qantas Logo

ACCC Interim Authorisation

Qantas and Emirates have welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s decision to grant interim authorisation for the proposed Qantas and Emirates partnership. The partnership still remains subject to final authorisation from the ACCC, a decision that is expected in March.

Alan Joyce, Chief Executive of the Qantas Group, said that interim authorisation would enable the two airlines to co-ordinate more closely and would also enable customers to book travel on most parts of the combined Qantas and Emirates network. “This decision means we can determine pricing, capacity and scheduling with Emirates, in addition to the more logistical aspects of the partnership that we have been working through already.

“For consumers, interim authorisation means we can provide details on fares and allow people to book one-stop destinations on most parts of the combined Emirates and Qantas network.”

Emirates - Qantas Partnership

“The interim approval clears the way for Emirates and Qantas to be geared up to provide customers with a unified experience from day one,” said Tim Clark, President, Emirates. “The Emirates and Qantas partnership will provide customers unparalleled access to the respective networks and services including the A380 experience.

“This approval comes two weeks after our first aircraft departed from Concourse A at Dubai Airport, the world’s only purpose-built A380 concourse and the ‘home of the Emirates A380’. Qantas’s A380 passengers flying in from Australia will be able to enjoy the unrivalled experience in terms of comfort, convenience and choice of facilities in Concourse A, before boarding their flights to our rapidly expanding European network or our destinations in the Middle East and Africa.”

The ACCC decision includes a condition that Qantas and Emirates not yet co-ordinate on services between Australia and New Zealand, reflecting the fact that New Zealand law does not provide for interim authorisation.

Fares on the combined network, which would be for travel from April 2013, are expected to be available in coming weeks once discussions on pricing have taken place. These services remain subject to regulatory approval.

Alan Joyce said that part of selling the Emirates and Qantas network would include marketing of Australian regional destinations to a wider international audience. “Through this partnership and with interim authorisation, Emirates will now be able to market Qantas destinations like Hobart and the Gold Coast to their customers, which is a real benefit for Australian tourism.”

Prior to receiving interim authorisation, co-ordination between Qantas and Emirates has focused on aspects of the partnership that do not require ACCC approval, including integrating IT systems, determining frequent flyer benefits and establishing an operational base for Qantas in Dubai.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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