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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. Utilising a large fleet of narrow and wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Qantas operates an extensive domestic and international network, with services to New Zealand, the Americas, Asia, South Africa and Europe. Regional services are provided by subsidiary, QantasLink. Qantas is a founding member of the oneworld alliance.
Location of Qantas Airways main hub (Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport)
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4,320 total articles
383 total articles
Air New Zealand is boldly moving forward with its longstanding aspiration to serve Latin America by announcing plans to launch service to Buenos Aires in 2015. The new Auckland-Buenos Aires route is made possible by a new partnership with Aerolineas Argentinas, which will provide connections within South America and local sales support.
For Air NZ, Buenos Aires fills the last major white spot in its network following the upcoming resumption of services to Singapore. Argentina has proven to be a challenging market for foreign carriers but for Air NZ it represents the best South American option with a risk level that is acceptable with the right partnerships.
For Aerolineas, codesharing with Air NZ provides an opportunity to add New Zealand and Australia back to its network. Aerolineas pulled out of the Southwest Pacific market in Apr-2014, leaving a void which Air NZ is eager to fill as it has the aircraft type and connections to succeed where Aerolineas failed.
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has transformed the landscape of Australian aviation, but his practices of virtual long-haul flying and strategic partnerships across multiple alliances offer examples for airlines globally to reflect on. Mr Borghetti, in a video interview for CAPA TV, discusses the pivotal changes Virgin has so far made as well as what is next.
Mr Borghetti affirms the distance he wants between Virgin and its LCC unit Tigerair Australia, unlike the closer Qantas-Jetstar relationship. Airlines should be like toothpaste, Mr Borghetti uses as an example: consumers should have a choice of distinct and separate brands without realising they are owned by the same few companies.
While Qantas expands its role in Asia, including a proposed JV with China Eastern, Mr Borghetti expresses no interest in an Asian strategy, preferring instead to remain focused on Virgin Australia's core domestic network and to work with Singapore Airlines and not another airline. “We can feed the China traffic over Singapore with Singapore Airlines and that's as good as it gets,” Mr Borghetti says. “There is no better partner than Singapore Airlines.”
Air New Zealand will diversify its North American network by flying outside the west coast to Chicago, Houston or Las Vegas, the carrier has said on Chinese media and as reported in the New Zealand Herald. This fourth continental North American destination would join Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. Air NZ also serves Honolulu. The largest un-served North American cities from New Zealand are New York and Toronto, according to OAG Traffic Analyser, but the distances are too prohibitive for the small traffic base. After New York and Toronto, Las Vegas and Chicago are the next largest markets, with Houston half the size of Chicago.
Las Vegas is significantly closer than Chicago but OAG Traffic Analyser shows fewer premium bookings and more discount economy tickets, reflecting Las Vegas' more leisure orientation. However, this could be suitable for Air New Zealand's denser 787-9. Las Vegas would bring some connecting opportunities while Chicago and Houston would bring more. Continental mooted a Houston-Auckland service that has not been realised, and may have been raised as a political ploy when the merged United-Continental established joint headquarters in Chicago and wanted to fend off international expansion at Houston Hobby airport.
While many airlines are reducing flights to Japan, Qantas is joining Air New Zealand in growing services. The thinking behind the move is partially that outbound traffic to Japan will grow with the yen's depreciation, but also that as other carriers cut capacity in Japan, outbound Japanese traffic has fewer options. Australia and New Zealand were once big favourites of Japanese travellers; as recently as 2005 Japan was Australia's third largest source of travellers. Now the China market has overshadowed growth developments.
Qantas from Aug-2015 will launch a daily service to Tokyo Haneda from an Australian city to be confirmed by the end of 2014. Although Haneda is more convenient than Narita, Qantas will need to contend with Haneda's limited slots – potentially making Sydney-Haneda a difficult option. By offering more options, Qantas will hope to regain traffic from Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, which carry about 19% of Australia-Japan passengers. But those sixth freedom carriers will likely retain an advantage with their city pair and time combinations.
Chinese airline growth in direct services will reduce New Zealand dependency on Australian transfers
China Southern Airlines is on track to achieve its target of having 55 weekly flights to Australia/New Zealand by the end of 2015, with peak southern summer flights to reach 52 weekly. China Southern's presence in Australia has been highly visible, but its growth in New Zealand has been quieter. After entering New Zealand just three years ago, China Southern in 2015 will have more peak capacity there than Cathay Pacific. China Eastern will also enter the market, although only for the peak season, while Air China has flagged entry into New Zealand as part of a proposed joint venture with Air New Zealand. Chinese visitor numbers to New Zealand have doubled in four years.
This additional capacity should help New Zealand receive more direct Chinese visitors. This will help reduce its reliance on passengers arriving from Australia, which in 2013 accounted for half of the Chinese visitors to New Zealand. Air China's proposed joint venture with Air New Zealand will help Air New Zealand's prospects in mainland China. The two have been distant, causing Air New Zealand to withdraw from Beijing. Still, Air China may not be enough for Air New Zealand, which may need to consider another Chinese partner.
The spectacular growth of China Southern Airlines in Australia and New Zealand came with the tradeoff that Air China and China Eastern lost interest in Australia and New Zealand, seeing China Southern's flood of capacity drastically hurting yields and making expansion too difficult. This is now changing, first with China's regulator signalling China Southern needs to slow its international expansion, and more recently with two proposed joint-ventures, one between China Eastern and Qantas and the other between Air China and Air New Zealand. The Chinese carriers are taking the view a deep partnership can help them where size is not to their advantage.
The two joint ventures are distinctly different. China Eastern will likely gain more from its partnership with Qantas while Air New Zealand can potentially gain more by having the JV mend its frayed relationship with Air China. Further, China Eastern's more ideally located Shanghai hub gives greater potential growth from the JV whereas Air China will be challenged with its northern Beijing hub.