BERLIN, March 6 Emirates airline said its
alliance with Australia's Qantas was working and had
helped the Gulf carrier to improve yields, after some analysts
questioned the benefits of the partnership.
Qantas is reducing its workforce by 15 percent, slashing
spending and selling gas-guzzling older planes after stiff
competition at home and overseas pushed the Australian flag
carrier deep into the red in the first half.
The loss in Qantas's international division was greater than
analysts had anticipated, raising concern that the alliance it
signed last year with Emirates was not yet paying off.
"For Emirates, it's working. We are satisfied with this
deal," Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori told
reporters on the sidelines of the ITB Berlin tourism fair.
He declined to comment on the financial troubles at Qantas
but said that, for Emirates, the partnership has increased the
number of passengers flying business class, helping to more than
offset pressure on yields in economy class as rivals increase
Under the alliance, the companies share some revenue, Qantas
has moved its European operations base from Singapore to Dubai
and Emirates is letting Qantas share its new terminal, which was
for the exclusive use of its Airbus A380.
Antinori said Emirates had no intention of entering into a
traditional network-sharing airline alliance, like rival Qatar
Airways, which last year joined OneWorld. Antinori said it would
require too much time and effort.
He said Emirates would suffer an unspecified dip in revenue
from the temporary grounding of 20 aircraft, or around 10
percent of its fleet, for 80 days from May 1 due to the planned
closure of a runway at Dubai International airport.
The grounding will include all of the airline's Airbus
A340-500s, which will also be phased out entirely during the
next 12 months, Antinori said. It will also include many of the
company's Airbus A330s and a few of its Boeing 777s.