first_imgThe new Qantas and Emirates extensive aviation partnership announced yesterday will see “greater opportunities” for Australia’s inbound markets, according to tourism leaders.Qantas said commencing April 2013, the agreement would see the carrier move its flights to Europe from the Kangaroo Route with British Airways and onto the Falcon Route with Emirates. Still subject to regulatory approval, the Australian flag carrier explained the agreement would give its customers the option to fly one of 98 weekly flights between Australia and Dubai as well as access to up to 70 Emirates destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.The increase in air access announced by the carrier is “critical” to increasing Australia’s tourism numbers, according to Tourism, Transport and Forum (TTF) chief executive John Lee, and will likely improve travel times for travellers coming to Australia from Europe. Mr Lee added that the new partnership would also strengthen both carriers to host an “unrivalled global network” which will provide new opportunities to the Australian tourism industry. “It [the partnership] will allow both carriers to focus on the future and ensuring they can grow sustainably in the years ahead,” he said. Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy concurred, adding that that while the agreement had “potential” to increase international visitor numbers, its success “would need to be judged fully over time”.He explained that although Qantas should “do whatever” to survive, the loss of flights between Singapore and Frankfurt would “be a loss” for Australia and its effect should not be underplayed. “Tourism Australia will work closely with the industry including those carriers that continue to serve Western Europe to ensure we best manage this change,” Mr McEvoy said. “We’re pleased to hear that no other Qantas international services have been cut and that there is a commitment over the medium term to open new routes – including Trans Tasman and into Asia, the fastest growing tourism region to this country.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img

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