Today Qantas and Emirates celebrated the start of the airlines partnership between Australia and London by conducting a joint flyover in formation by each of the airlines Airbus A380 aircraft.
The flyover that started at 10:30 am flew over Sydney’s iconic Opera house and harbour bridge is the first time two commercial Airbus A380 aircraft had flown in such close formation, at times flying as low as 1500 feet.
Both aircraft took off from Sydney International at 9:20am, then flew north to Longreef, then south and slightly out to sea, and then turned to come into Sydney Harbour over Watson’s Bay, positioned to the north side of the Harbour, passing the Sydney Opera House and flying over the Sydney Harbour Bridge at 10.30am. Finally the aircraft flew out to the Gladesville Bridge, and turned around and came back in the same formation. The Qantas plane lead at a height of 1500ft with the Emirates aircraft to the right and higher.
Qantas photographs of the flyover can be seen below:
Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Alan Joyce, said the partnership would make long haul travel more seamless – and faster – for millions of Australians.
“From today, our customers from Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney have one-stop access to 65 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, the UK and Europe via the joint Qantas and Emirates network.
“By travelling through Dubai, Qantas customers can connect to the extensive Emirates network into Europe and the UK and fly directly to their destination,” said Mr Joyce.
“Before today, the Qantas network offered five one-stop codeshare destinations into Europe and the UK with our partners. From today, we offer access to more than 30 destinations in Europe on the combined Qantas and Emirates network.
“The new network will cut average journey times by more than two hours from Melbourne and Sydney to the top 10 destinations in Europe,” added Mr Joyce.
Combined the two airlines will offer 98 flights a week between Australia and Dubai. Qantas will continue to operate its A380 services from Sydney and Melbourne through to London.
President of Emirates, Tim Clark, said no other aviation partnership offered customers a coordinated premium airline experience like Emirates and Qantas.
“The strength of this partnership stems from the fact the Emirates and Qantas brands are an excellent match. Emirates customers using a Qantas lounge or taking a Qantas flight will experience a level of service that is on par with what they expect from Emirates,” he said.
“Our two airlines offer the largest joint fleet of Airbus A380s and passengers will be welcomed through the world’s only all-A380 terminal at DubaiInternationalAirport, which is the geographical centrepiece of the partnership.
“A major benefit is the range of products we are offering frequent flyers. Customers of either airline can leverage many of their privileges when they fly on the joint network, including earning points, redeeming flights and accessing lounges,” added Mr Clark.