British Airways has agreed a codeshare deal with Cathay Pacific between the UK and Australia via Hong Kong.
The codeshare will take effect from March 31 which is the same date that BA’s 17-year-old joint venture with Qantas is scheduled to end as the Australian airline starts its new 10-year partnership with Emirates.
Under the arrangement between the two Oneworld members, BA passengers flying from Heathrow to Hong Kong can then take Cathay flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Cairns. BA currently flies twice daily from Heathrow to Hong Kong.
BA will continue to operate its own daily service from Heathrow to Sydney via Singapore.
“The arrangement will allow British Airways to serve all major Australian cities and provide customers with increased schedule options and flexibility,” said BA in a statement.
Qantas last week said it had seen a surge in sales to Europe after it started selling Emirates flights.
BA's annoucement came as Emirates revealed that it will deploy a second Airbus A380 aircraft on the Dubai-Sydney route from June 1, replacing the Boeing 777-300ER on one of its three daily services on the route.
The second A380 will be used on the early morning service that departs Dubai at 02.15, arriving in Sydney at 22.05. The 777-300ER will continue to be used on the third service between Dubai and Sydney, via Bangkok. The remaining service will continue to be flown by another A380. This change adds another 1,890 seats per week to the route.