Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) and Dubai-based Emirates would extend their partnership for another five years till 2028, they said on Monday, as both airlines battle with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international air travel.
The partnership includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated pricing, sales and scheduling, as well as a benefit-sharing model across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the U.K.
“As Qantas and Emirates recover from the impact that COVID-19 has had on their respective businesses, the partnership will continue to deliver financial upside for both airlines, ” the companies said in a joint statement.
The alliance was formed in 2013 as part of Qantas’ efforts to shore up its loss making international business, replacing its existing deal with British Airways. Since then, more than 13 million passengers have travelled on the joint network.
“We know the international aviation market will take years to fully recover so close collaboration between airline partners is going to be more important than ever,” Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said in a statement.
The deal, which was about to end in 2023 earlier, will have to be re-authorised by Australia’s competition watchdog.