Australia's Government plans to introduce a domestic carbon pricing regime which will threaten Qantas’ profitability, and complicate its efforts to mitigate the affect of carbon taxes in key aviation markets internationally (The Australian Financial Review, 09-Mar-2011). Analysts expect the hit to Qantas’ annual earnings from a domestic carbon tax of AUD20 (USD20) a tonne could be up to AUD100 million unless passed onto passengers. This figure does not include the CO2-related costs the airline will incur in international markets such as New Zealand and the European Union. The Australian Government plans to introduce the carbon tax on 01-Jul-2011. Qantas rival Virgin Blue does not operate into Europe, nor does it operate domestic services in New Zealand.
Carbon taxes to hurt Qantas
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Qatar Airways' casual remark in Jan-2016 that it would launch nonstop service to Auckland has resulted in nearly two years of accelerated growth as competitors look to pre-empt Qatar. That, in turn, is driving Qatar to build its presence in Australia and New Zealand – which is disproportionately small compared to the presence of Emirates and Etihad. In Feb-2017 Qatar will finally launch nonstop service to Auckland, making that air service the world's longest flight. After the launch of flights to Australia's secondary city of Adelaide in May-2016, Qatar intends to open service to another smaller market – Canberra.
2016 was the most prominent year for Gulf airlines growing in Australia and New Zealand. Excluding Qatar's proposed Canberra service, and other services under consideration, 2017 will be the third largest year for growth, but depending on how commercial and aeropolitical matters evolve, 2017 could surpass 2016 for growth. So far, there will be more absolute growth from Qatar than Emirates in 2017, by comparison with 2016.
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