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Qantas Airways is operated as part of the publicly listed Qantas Group. It is the national airline of Australia with major hubs in Sydney and Melbourne and secondary hubs in Perth and Brisbane. Using a large fleet of narrow and wide-body Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier aircraft, Qantas operates an extensive domestic and regional network within Australia as well as international services to New Zealand, North America, Asia, South Africa and Europe. Qantas is a founding member of the oneworld alliance.
Location of Qantas Airways main hub (Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport)
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3,274 total articles
354 total articles
With little fanfare Virgin Australia and Tigerair have made the first public change to their networks as part of the dual-brand strategy they are now pursuing following Virgin's purchase of one-time competitor Tigerair that gives Virgin a budget off-shoot to match the Qantas Group's Qantas-Jetstar pairing. Tigerair will enter the Brisbane-Darwin market at flight timings almost identical to Virgin, which will change its timings to match Qantas.
The nuances may seem local but the implications are global: Australia will be the first market to see two full-scale dual-brand strategies compete head-to-head with each other.
Product, service and brand are key ingredients to a successful dual-brand strategy, but the network underpins it. Many airlines have tried a dual-brand strategy but most bundle some – sometimes all – of the necessary components. Virgin Australia is not just going to attempt a dual-brand strategy but is doing so in the backyard of one of the airlines that pioneered it. In one of the ironies typical of the Australian market, Qantas developed Jetstar and the dual-brand strategy to combat then low-cost Virgin Blue. In response Virgin started to move upmarket and reached a point where it largely had to become full-service, exposing its inability to successful target the low-end of the market. Buying Tigerair completes a nearly decade-long circle, but begins the intricate process of making the two airlines work alongside each other.
Qantas' 5-Dec-2013 pre-tax loss projection of up to AUD300 million for the six months to 31-Dec-2013 is accompanied by plans for an accelerated cost reduction programme involving an additional 1,000 head count reduction.
Since Qantas started getting its international network into order last year with a ground-breaking Emirates alliance, at least one major issue seemed to be solved. A new codeshare alliance announced with China Southern on 3-Dec-2013 complements its existing one with China Eastern, offering a good platform for future growth in the massive China market. Meanwhile Jetstar, with joint-venture alliances, is developing new markets across the region from various country platforms.
Many of the main ingredients are in place for a viable longer term international operation. It is the short term that is proving hard to digest. Virgin Australia is being annoyingly aggressive, at home with its expanded product and capacity including a Tigerair dual-brand to match Qantas’, and internationally through its equity partnerships with Etihad, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand. There is also a host of very aggressive foreign airlines feeding off the still relatively strong Australian outbound market.
The Qantas mainline brand remains overweight and proving increasingly vulnerable as competition persists. Hence the emergency measures.
Qantas' move to codeshare and establish a partnership with China Southern Airlines combines two themes in partnership strategy: my enemy's enemy is my friend, and if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Qantas, with seven weekly flights from Australia to China, will never be the size of China Southern, which has 47 weekly flights to Australia and New Zealand and plans to boost it to 55 by 2015.
China Southern will complement Qantas' existing partnership with China Eastern. While it helps that China Eastern and Southern are friendly with each other, China Southern's base in Guangzhou is more favourable for connecting south China destinations than China Eastern's Shanghai base. It is initially southern China destinations Qantas will codeshare on, in addition to Australia-China flights while China Southern receives domestic Australian codeshares.
Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia are beginning to flex their muscles with Tigerair Australia making its first strategic move since becoming part of the Virgin Australia Group in Apr-2013 by launching direct services between Sydney and Perth as the carrier takes delivery of its 12th A320 in Dec-2013.
Virgin Australia meanwhile has taken another step to challenge Qantas’ domestic regional network domination with the launch of the first direct link between its home base of Brisbane and Cloncurry.
The changes signal the start of Virgin Australia’s ambitions to duplicate the successful Qantas/Jetstar model which seeks to separately maximise the returns from the full service and leisure markets.
easyJet's announcement on 25-Sep-2013 that it would open a new base in Hamburg illustrates the success of the European Union’s decision to liberalise its aviation market in the 1990s. The UK’s largest airline owes its success largely to these reforms, which allow any EU airline to fly from anywhere to anywhere within the bloc. Hamburg will be its 23rd base. No-frills rival Ryanair also took advantage of European liberalisation and now has 57 bases (including two outside Europe).
Nevertheless, there are still some barriers to this liberalisation. A recent court judgement ruled that Ryanair should have paid French social charges in respect of its employees based at Marseille, whom it employed on Irish labour contracts.
What is meant by an airline base? Why have Europe’s LCCs established so many foreign bases and why is the practice of basing aircraft and crew away from an airline’s home market rare outside Europe?
Boston Logan Airport’s recent spree of attracting new international service continues as direct flights to Dubai are scheduled to come online in Mar-2014. Emirates Airline is to begin new service that will offer connections throughout its expanding network that covers the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australasia.
The service caps off an interesting round of new and key international destinations from Boston. JAL during 2012 introduced direct flights to Tokyo Narita followed by Copa’s launch of direct flights to Latin America’s key connection point in Panama. Emirates’ new service to Dubai will be followed by the introduction of flights to Istanbul by Turkish Airlines in May-2014.
Emirates’ service to Boston further solidifies its leading-carrier status among the three big Gulf Airlines to the United States. But as has been the case for the last couple of years, its competitors Etihad and Qatar plan to catch up as Etihad has previously stated it plans to table new North American destinations and Qatar has listed Boston as a potential new market in the US.
Given the quickly changing competitive dynamics those three carriers are ushering into the global market place, there is sure to be an interesting response from Emirates’ rivals to these latest moves in North America. Hopefully this will be in the marketplace rather than in the corridors of Congress.
Qantas Airways Fleet Summary: as at 12-Dec-2013
|Aircraft||In Service||In Storage||On Order*|
Qantas Airways projected delivery dates for aircraft purchased from OEMs and leased from lessors new aircraft order pipelines as at 9-Dec-2013
Qantas Airways fleet as at 12-Dec-2013
Qantas Airways fleet breakdown for aircraft as at 12-Dec-2013
Qantas Airways average fleet age
Qantas Airways owned vs leased for aircraft (at 9-Dec-2013)
Most popular aircraft types
Qantas Airways seats per aircraft
Qantas Airways average sector length (9-Dec-2013 to 15-Dec-2013)
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