British Airways is to end its joint business with Qantas after the Australian carrier announced a new global partnership with Emirates.
BA and Qantas have operated the joint business between the UK and Australia since 1995 but it will end on March 31 next year.
The two airlines will continue to work together as part of the Oneworld alliance and through bilateral codeshares.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said: "Over the past 17 years the joint business with British Airways has been central to the Qantas network. However, global operating conditions have changed and partnership with Emirates is the right strategy for Qantas.”
Joyce added that the global deal with Emirates, which will include the co-ordinating of prices and schedules, was “a new era for Qantas, Australian and global aviation".
From April next year, Qantas will transfer its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai, providing it secures regulatory approval for the move. The Gulf city will also become Qantas' gateway to the Middle East and North Africa.
The airline will start flying with 14 daily Qantas-operated or coded B777 and A380 flights from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to Dubai’s Terminal 3 – which has so far been used exclusively for Emirates. But Qantas will not be giving up any of its slots at Heathrow to Emirates as part of the agreement.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA’s parent company IAG, said: “We're ending the joint business on amicable terms and support Qantas' decision to work with Emirates.
“This is a small part of our overall network and this move fits in with changes in our global strategy,” added Walsh. “Asia has become a key market focus for IAG and we're talking to a number of airlines about alternative options for us.”