Emirates is pulling out of more trans-Tasman flights, canning its Brisbane and Melbourne to Auckland routes from March, but may add more New Zealand to Dubai direct services.
Qantas had already said its Melbourne to London service will fly non-stop to Europe out of Perth on its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners starting in March, meaning the airline will not have any flights to Dubai.
Emirates Airline, the Dubai government-controlled carrier, and Qantas, Australia's biggest airline on Wednesday restructured their common flight plan to "allow both airlines to leverage their network strengths".
The latest move follows Emirates' cancellation of its Sydney-Auckland tag services in July, which saw Qantas also increase capacity on that route.
"I guess if we had a smaller aeroplane we might not have" cancelled the New Zealand flights, Clark told Reuters by phone.
Emirates is set to keep a daily Sydney-Christchurch flight but quit the others between Australia and New Zealand from March.
The carriers say that the changes have been included in their joint submission to New Zealand and Australian competition authorities seeking an extension to their alliance until 2023.
"So, we expect this should provide greater opportunities for New Zealand-based cabin crew", says Kelvin.
Emirates in May posted its first annual profit drop in five years due to overcapacity, security concerns and a fall in regional business travel. "It will enable us to continue developing world-class customer experiences, and contribute to stimulating increased opportunities for global trade, tourism and commerce". We are now enhancing the partnership to reflect customer demand, new aircraft technology and our respective network strengths. "That's certainly been true for the past five years and now we're evolving our joint network so we can serve them even better for the next five".
According to the airlines, since 2013 more than 8 million passengers have travelled on the joint network, travelling more than 65 billion kilometres.
The airlines will shortly seek re-authorisation from relevant regulators, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to continue coordination of pricing, schedules, sales and tourism marketing, under an expanded partnership.
Emirates customers with existing bookings impacted by the changes will be re-accommodated onto Qantas services or will be given the option to change their flights.
Qantas and Emirates began working together in 2013 in an arrangement taking passengers from Australia to Europe via Dubai.