Qantas hails efficiency of Dubai route
Bosses at Australian airline Qantas believe passengers travelling to Europe from down under will benefit from the firm's new alliance with UAE-based carrier Emirates.Qantas will now use Dubai as its main connection point on flights between Australia and western Europe, rather than Singapore. This, the company stated, will help to cut journey times considerably.Indeed, a spokesperson for the organisation suggested that in most cases, passengers will only have to catch one connecting service when making the long-haul trip from the southern hemisphere."For example, flying from Sydney to Barcelona on the existing Qantas network requires stops in Singapore and London. On the combined Qantas-Emirates network this same trip would require only a single stop in Dubai and [will] take three hours less," they remarked.The company conceded that people will have to wait a little while when boarding their flights in Dubai, but the total travel time to Europe's top ten destinations has been cut by two hours and 15 minutes on average, when compared to the Singapore route.Hoteliers and other business owners in the Middle Eastern city look set to benefit from the partnership between the two airlines, as more people will be staying over in the emirate as they make their way from Australia to Europe.Qantas is expected to launch Dubai Connect - an initiative that will provide customers with free accommodation, meals, transfers and visa costs if their stopover lasts for longer than six hours or less than 24 hours for first and business class passengers.Of course, Dubai is so much more than a stop-off point on long-haul journeys. The city is a fine tourism hotspot in its own right and 2013 promises to be a record year for the emirate's hotel owners.Last year, Dubai International Airport accommodated more than 57 million passengers - a large percentage of which were taking a holiday in the Gulf.This figure is set to rise to 66 million in 2013 and hotel occupancy rates are likely to keep rising.