Emirates opens up Australian destinations for Dubai travellers

Bosses at Emirates have confirmed that air passengers can now take advantage of the firm's partnership with Qantas by booking flights to a number of destinations in Australia.The link-up between the two major airlines has received preliminary authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and is in the process of securing final regulatory approval in the necessary jurisdictions.It is hoped that the deal will ensure Australia - an important tourism market for the UAE - is far better connected to Dubai.From March 31st, travellers will be able to fly from the emirate to 32 different places down under, including Hobart, Cairns, Port Lincoln and Canberra.There are already a number of services that link Dubai to major cities like Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.Thierry Antinori - Emirates executive vice president of passenger sales worldwide - said Australia is a very strong market for the carrier."When we first began the planning of this partnership it was always driven by what extra we are able to offer our customers," he remarked."We are also looking forward to welcoming Qantas passengers on board our aircraft after opening up our ever expanding network in Europe, Middle East and Africa for sale to Qantas customers."There was a sharp increase in the number of people from the Australasia region visiting Dubai in 2012.Figures provided by Dubai Airports highlighted a 21.9 per cent rise in passengers from this part of the world, as the emirate enjoyed a record-breaking year for tourism.Overall, 57.6 million travellers passed through Dubai International Airport throughout the 12-month period, which was a 13.2 per cent improvement on 2011.The airport officially became the third busiest on the planet, overtaking Hong Kong in the process.Officials at Dubai Airports are expecting more than 65 million holidaymakers and businesspeople to land at the facility in 2013 and they are hoping to eventually surpass London's Heathrow as the biggest aviation hub in the world.

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