Hey Qantas, welcome to Dubai!

Originally broadcast on Emirates News, 1 April 2013

eq2The first scheduled Qantas flight into Dubai touched down this morning – heralding the start of the Australian carrier’s powerful new alliance with Emirates Airline. Noni Edwards has the details.

Yesterday, to mark the launch of the alliance, two A380s flew in formation over Sydney – Emirates and Qantas, working in perfect partnership. No doubt that’s the symbolism they’re hoping will stick.

At today’s launch event at Emirates headquarters here in Dubai, the Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said that first flight into Dubai was no less than history in the making.

“It did represent a change in global aviation and the thing about coming on that flight last night and talking to a lot of our passengers on board is our passengers were extremely excited about this partnership.”

The code-sharing, profit-sharing, market-sharing partnership will see Qantas and Emirates offer a combined total of 98 flights a week between Australia and Dubai, but getting it literally off the ground hasn’t come quickly or easily.

eq3The President of Emirates, Tim Clark, says they were supported at every step by the Australian government.

“I must first of all express my appreciation of the presence of the Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Regional Development for Australia who has been a huge supporter for everything we’ve managed to accomplish in this last 9 or 10 months.”

Of course the Minister would realise Australia has a lot to gain from the partnership, especially with enticing images like yesterday’s double flyover in Sydney being beamed out around the world, but he’s also thinking about expat Aussies, like the 7,000 odd-of-us estimated to be living in the UAE.

eqAustralia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport , arrived in Dubai on the flight.

“Australians are of course amongst the most travelled people on the globe,” said Anthony Albanese.

“What this partnership does is open up new markets directly for all those Australians who travel as expats back to their country of origin or people who are travelling either for business or recreational purposes.”

“A lot of our passengers were talking about how this improves their connectivity into Rome,” said Joyce. “We had people going all over Europe, to Milan, to Rome”

Also present at today’s event, the Australian Ambassador to the UAE, Pablo Kang.

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