Qantas and Emirates have announced they will extend their cornerstone partnership for another five years.
The deal means customers and frequent flyers of both airlines will have access to an expansive joint network across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK.
The agreement was signed by Emirates president, Tim Clark, and Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce, at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Boston.
The airlines have existing approvals from regulators to operate a joint business until early 2023.
Qantas and Emirates will seek re-authorisation from relevant regulators, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to continue the core elements of the partnership including coordination of pricing, schedules, sales and tourism marketing on approved routes until 2028.
The deal includes an option to renew for another five years beyond that.
Clark said: “The extension of our partnership with Qantas is testament to its success.
“It also reflects our commitment to ensure customers travelling to and from Australia, a market which we have served for 25 years, continue to have the best connections and frequent flyer benefits.
“Despite the challenges of the past 18 months, this announcement reinforces that Emirates is here for the long-haul.”
For Emirates customers, the deal provides access to over 55 Australian destinations that Emirates does not fly to, and Qantas customers are able to fly on Emirates to Dubai and access over 50 cities in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, that Qantas does not fly to.
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.
Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce, said: “This marks the continuation of one of the most significant bilateral partnerships in aviation.
“We called it ‘seismic’ when it launched in 2013 and it has been, especially in terms of what it’s meant for over 13 million people who have travelled on flights that form part of the deal.
“The premise of our partnership with Emirates has always been that no airline can fly everywhere but combined we can fly to most of the places our joint customers want to travel to.
“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.”