The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has officially approved the Qantas-Emirates alliance, meaning the two airlines can begin co-operating fully from April. What does that mean for passengers?
The conditions haven't changed since the ACCC granted provisional approval back in February; the two airlines must maintain a certain number of seats on Australia/New Zealand routes to avoid a reduction of competition.
For passengers, the big shift is that Dubai will now become the main route through which Qantas flights to Europe pass. Qantas will continue its own flights through to London, but for other European destinations, you'll generally switch to an Emirates flight. For anywhere in Europe west of London, that's a definite time-saver. Another visible change at the London end is that co-operation with British Airways will be much reduced (passengers who can't access an Emirates lounge will end up in an AA Admiral's Club lounge instead).
Elsewhere, we've detailed how frequent flyer and luggage arrangements will change under the alliance, noted that Emirates has better Wi-Fi options, and compared the A380 offerings for the two airlines. I'm looking forward to trying out the new routing in May; what do you think?