CANCUN, Mexico, June 6 Australia's biggest
airline Qantas is still keen to work with Dubai-based Emirates
on routes to Europe, even as it starts to open up more of its
own routes, executives said on Tuesday.
Qantas is bypassing Emirates' hub Dubai on a new
Perth-London flight and has indicated that it wants to fly to
Paris and Frankfurt from Perth, in another challenge to
"Even when we start flying direct to London, still Dubai
will play a big role," Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce
told journalists at a briefing on the sidelines of an airline
industry meeting in Mexico.
"Emirates has 40 destinations in Europe. We're never going
to fly direct to places like Venice and Prague," he added.
Qantas Group also sees big opportunities in China, both for
its main brand and low-cost unit Jetstar.
"It's about to overtake New Zealand as the biggest inbound
market into Australia," Gareth Evans, CEO of Qantas
International. "Not all of that is profitable growth so we have
to be careful on how we take that opportunity."
On other partnerships, Qantas is planning within the next
few months to refile an application for a joint venture with
American Airlines that would allow them to coordinate
prices and flight schedules, Evans said.
The pair's application for a joint venture covering the
United States, Australia and New Zealand markets was rejected in
November under the Obama administration in the face of
opposition from Hawaiian Airlines Inc and JetBlue Airways Corp.
"My understanding is that it will take less time this time
through, but we'll have to wait and see," Evans said.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan)