QF domestic services would become a feeder airline for QF/EK international operations including existing Emirates trans Tasman, Asian and UK/EU routes hubbed through Dubai.
As Jetstar codeshares with QF that opens some additional questions concerning a future QF/EK relationship especially the Jetstar role as a feeder airline.
Emirates (EK) currently operate to Jakarta and QF operate CGK-SYD, so with this deal Emirates could ticket through to Australian airports from Dubai via Jakarta as well as Singapore and Bangkok. Neither QF or EK currently operate to Bali.
Qatar Airways has been considered as an operational and codeshare partner for QF and discussions appear to be going on at the same time as those with Emirates.
Qatar are one of the small number of global airlines that operate to all 6 of the worlds (inhabited) continents and they currently operate to several regional destinations Singapore, KL, Phuket, Bali, Jakarta, Perth and Melbourne in Australia.
One of the reasons for developing the new airport on Lombok was to attract Middle eastern airlines to come into Lombok. The Emmar Group from Dubai was the principal investor in the now shelved large scale developments around Kuta (in South Lombok).
One of the other ME operators might open a route into Lombok in the future but there would need to be some significant developments in Lombok first.
Qatar Airways already operate into Bali.
Etihad are the ME carrier now aligned with Virgin, they operate into Jakarta from Abu Dhabi, but do not service Bali.
The only really likely contenders to open a service to Australia from Lombok would be Jetstar (can't see that happening), Virgin Australia (same unless something opens up with Etihad doing Doha-Lombok), Garuda Citilink (maybe in the future under their regional expansion plans), Lion Air (a possible once they get enough aircraft-currently they have dropped from 5 daily services to Lombok from Jakarta down to 3), Tiger-Mandela (too early to tell but a Singapore-Lombok-Austrlalia link would be interesting), Sriwijaya Air (maybe once they get their new aircraft), and Batavia Air (now absorbed into Air Asia). Silk Air (Singapore Airlines) already operate Singapore to Lombok services but KL is currently ticketed by Lion Air and Garuda with a stop in Surabaya or Jakarta, Mepati suspended their 737 service to KL from Lombok via Surabaya.
Air Asia-Batavia is probably the most likely in the short to medium term for any potential of new services linking Lombok to Australia, Singapore or KL unless something quite unusual happens at either Air North (Australia) or Sky West (Australia).
Indonesian Air Transport talked of services to north Australia for a while a few years ago but ever nothing came of it.
Hopefully Air Asia-Batavia will at least open a Kuala Lumpur to Lombok route, maybe some services to Bandung and as an Indonesian carrier they can get apply for a route from Lombok onward to Australia.
Emirates already operate all the way through to Auckland and Christchurch NZ. Emirates currently provides 3 daily flights to Auckland from Dubai, and they use a modern well appointed fleet including the new A380.
Emirates have services to both JFK and LAX from Dubai, now with QF routes they can link back across the pacific to Australia and onward to Asia, Dubai and the EU. Developments in that theatre of operations may be interesting.
QF already link LAX to JFK using 5th Freedom rights for their JFK-SYD route.
The now defunct Qantas SYD-AKL-LAX route may take on more significance when combined with Dubai-Auckland Emirates flights. The 5th freedom rights QF has between LAX and JFK gets Emirates through to JFK and then on to Dubai if they wish. Air New Zealand will not be happy if anything comes of that. QF dropped AKL-LAX as it was not making money but it may have a different appeal for Emirates.
Also it should ever be overlooked that airlines carry freight as well as passengers so this gives EK a route from Dubai to LAX via JFK and on to New Zealand, Australia and Asia.
The Emirates routes from Dubai into the European airports opens up some revenue opportunities for QF.
QF have been killing off their direct European routes and bases for years, now they can get them back again without having to route passengers all the way to Heathrow to access the BA system.
QF tickets to EU destinations should become more affordable, or maybe just more profitable depending on which way QF play it. What ever happens it will reduce travel times to many EU destinations hubing through Dubai rather than Singapore and Heathrow.
Jetstar may ultimately resolve as a regional international and domestic LCC operation positioned to take over much of the existing QF regional international and QF domestic trunk routes.
They can be expected to develop their route network and service across Asia and maybe reach the US west coast providing a trans pacific LCC operation.
The fleet purchases by QF Qantas appear to support an expansion of Jetstar, the new aircraft are in the greater part going to the Jetstar operation, not to QF. The aircraft for QF are really only replacement aircraft for some of the older QF fleet, the bulk of the new efficient aircraft suitable for route expansion is going to Jetstar.
Jetstar will be coming into some very serious regional competition with Lion Air, Air Asia and Garuda Citilink. It will also be interesting to see where things go with Scoot.
As for QF, it appears the QF board really do want to bury that airline and once they finish busting it up it will be near impossible to get it back. If they only enter into a basic codeshare agreement with Emirates they will probably eventually lose their customers to that airline as it will no doubt offer QF passengers a superior product with higher customer service levels, better aircraft and shorter routing to EU destinations than currently offered by QF.
Emirates already operate on the trans Tasman route to Auckland. QF have established cross Pacific routes and the existing QF 5th freedom rights permit an aircraft to operate form LAX to New York. QF recently dropped their Auckland to LA service.
It should never be overlooked that airlines carry freight as well as passengers and the QF routes may be appealing to a fast growing global operator such as Emirates or Qatar Airways.