Airlines buddying up could see price hikes


Travellers may have to pay more for airfares to New Zealand and Europe if the proposed Qantas and Emirates partnership is approved, according to industry experts.

Pacific Aviation consulting director Oliver Lamb said the reduction in competition means it would be unlikely to see a drop in airfare prices.

"I have a little bit of concern about what it might do to the Trans-Tasman market because Emirates is a big competitor from Australia to New Zealand,” Mr Lamb said.

The Trans-Tasman route is less competitive than the Europe market so the potential to impact on the price of airfares is there.

Meanwhile Middle Eastern carriers continue to focus their attention on Australia, enticing record numbers of people to travel overseas on the back of the strong dollar.

Emirates have begun to increase flights from Australia and will begin flying from Adelaide in November.

Etihad has formed its partnership with Virgin Australia, while Qatar Airways doesn’t yet have a local codeshare partner.

Commenting on the three Middle Eastern carriers flying into Australia, Mr Lamb said "if Emirates ends up with Qantas then Qatar is left a little bit without a dance partner.”

If the partnership between Qantas and Emirates goes ahead it would mean travellers could then transit in Dubai instead of Singapore, flying on what has been already dubbed the ‘falcon route’ instead of the ‘kangaroo route’.

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W
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