Australia's Government has submitted comments to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in favour of Virgin Blue and Etihad Airways’ plans to launch codeshare operations (The Age, 03-Nov-2010). The government stated the proposed agreement would “provide benefits to the Australian public and help support and sustain a competitive and sustainable … industry” and would allow V Australia to compete "across a range of other markets without the need for significant capital expenditure". The government plans to ensure the country maintains a second international carrier, previously also stating it will not allow Singapore Airlines to operate on the trans-Pacific route until V Australia has established itself.
Australian Government favours Virgin Blue/Etihad agreement
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The Indonesia-Australia market is a logical market for SIA as it seeks to diversify its business. Indonesia and Australia are already SIA’s two largest international markets and Garuda and Qantas are already among its biggest competitors.
Competition within Asia Pacific, including the Southeast Asia-Australia market, has been intensifying. In the current highly competitive and challenging environment airlines are constantly jockeying and exploring new options to improve their position.
Where the A380 flies: Japan and intra-Asia routes decline while Australia & Middle East grow
The A380 is once again under media scrutiny, despite there being no major movement on the type. Comments from Air France and Qantas about not taking further A380s have long been assumed, and it has been apparent that Malaysia Airlines does not even have the need for its A380s. Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 is hardly surprising, and offers no definitive conclusion about the A380 or second-hand market; early A380s had different production and are not as efficient as later models. The lack of movement on the A380neo continues to irk the model's largest customer by far, Emirates, and may not make for a productive relationship as Emirates weighs an A350 or 787 order.
For most, the A380 continues to fly. How and where it flies is changing. Flights to and from the Middle East are becoming more common as Gulf airlines, and mostly Emirates, take delivery of A380s. A further shift to the Middle East is inevitable. In Japan there has been a near exodus of A380s; airlines dropping the type as they moved from Narita to Haneda, which cannot accommodate the A380 during the day, and Singapore Airlines down-gauging. Intra-Asia flying is decreasing – notable given the growth of A380s based in the region. Services by the A380 to Australia are growing, perhaps as it becomes an easy market for airlines to redeploy capacity amid European security concerns and trans-Pacific overcapacity.