Australia’s competition regulator has granted final approval to an partnership between struggling national flag carrier Qantas and Emirates.
The arrangement is intended to help Qantas cut its loss-making international routes and focus on its profitable domestic and budget operations.
It includes switching the airline’s hub to Dubai from Singapore for European flights.
Further cost savings are expected through sharing catering, ground work, maintenance and procurement.
There was just one condition for approval – that the airlines maintain at least their pre-alliance capacity on routes between Australia and New Zealand due to concerns about reduced competition.
The approval came just in time as the first flight to transit through Dubai is due to leave Sydney on Sunday, headed for London.