Brown flies higher as Qantas, Emirates tweak Tasman routes
Emirates will begin talks with Qantas over the next two weeks about rescheduling flights and redeploying planes on trans-Tasman routes as the airline partners look to complete the final part of their alliance.
It comes amid a reshuffle of senior executives at Emirates, which has resulted in the promotion of the head of its Australasian operations, Barry Brown, to a top role in Dubai.
Mr Brown, who played a key part in forming the alliance with Qantas, will now oversee Emirates' commercial operations for half the world - from Hawaii to the Middle East.
After focusing on integrating their alliance in Australia and on routes to Europe, Qantas and Emirates will turn their attention to co-ordinating services on trans-Tasman routes.
Mr Brown said the talks would centre on "schedule rationalisation" to ensure Qantas and Emirates planes did not depart or arrive at the same time. He indicated the changes to schedules were more likely to be to Qantas flights because it was difficult to amend times for Emirates planes, which fly on to Dubai from New Zealand via Australia.
Mr Brown said the changes could also result in the redeployment of aircraft to other trans-Tasman routes. "It is about serving parts of New Zealand in a different way."
Qantas has four flights a day between Australia and New Zealand, three of which will soon be operated by 489-seat A380s. Between them, Qantas, Jetstar and Emirates will have a 40 per cent share of the trans-Tasman market, compared with almost 57 per cent for Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.
The New Zealand government last month cleared Qantas and Emirates to co-operate on the Tasman for five years, a decision that came almost two months after the Australian regulator gave its approval.
Emirates plans to name a successor to Mr Brown in Australia within the next two months. It has been considering both external and internal candidates.
Mr Brown, who will make the final decision on the selection of his successor, said a key part of the role of Australasian head for Emirates would be managing its relationship with Qantas. Australia and Britain are Emirates' largest markets in terms of revenue after the United Arab Emirates.
Shortly after taking the role as Emirates' Australasian chief in 2010, Mr Brown and Emirates president Tim Clark set about forming a strategy to boost revenue in the region.
"We both decided that Qantas was plum for us. We needed domestic feed and access to the corporate market here," he said. "Where we could bring something solid to the table was with Qantas."