Qantas Airways chief executive Alan Joyce says the proposed partnership with Emirates has been welcomed by staff as it will help secure jobs at the struggling airline.
Mr Joyce says no jobs will be lost as a result of the alliance, which is currently being considered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Rather, it will provide a "platform" to grow Qantas's struggling international operations in the years ahead.
"What the Emirates partnership does for us to be honest is secure jobs in the medium to long term," Mr Joyce told the National Press Club in Canberra today.
"It secures our operations into Europe to make them viable and allows us, as we said, to create a platform for us to grow going forward."
Mr Joyce said the unveiling of the Emirates deal was cheered by staff at Qantas' Mascot headquarters because "they know this is important for securing Australian and Qantas jobs".
In September, Qantas and Emirates unveiled a global partnership that involved an extensive codesharing arrangement, reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits and joint marketing, pricing and coordination on certain routes.
Should it receive ACCC approval, the two carriers would be working together on flights between Australia and Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and across the Tasman.
The 10-year alliance was regarded as a key plank Mr Joyce's bid to turn around the Flying Kangaroo's international operations, which reported a $450 million loss in 2011/12.
Qantas has started selling flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London via Emirates' home port of Dubai, which were due to begin in April 2013. Currently, Qantas' London-bound flights use Singapore as their mid-point refuelling stop.
The Australian flag carrier said recently it would also withdraw from Frankfurt - its sole destination in Continental Europe and according to Qantas a loss-making route - in October 2013.
Mr Joyce said linking up with Emirates would give Qantas the opportunity to again offer flights to cities it Europe it once served.
"That's really positive for jobs here," Mr Joyce said.
"If we don't have a viable international business, there's a knock-on effect about our domestic or frequent flyer businesses because it doesn't give us the financial strength to support the investments that we are making.
"We are in a very healthy position, but if we do not turn around Qantas international, that health will diminish over time and that's why this deal is important."The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was currently evaluating the proposed alliance and was expected to issue a draft determination by the end of 2012, with a final decision due in March 2013.
The new magazine for a new generation of West Australians.Click here to download »
All the latest market figures from Australia and the world.Click here »
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.