10-Sep-2010 8:30 AM

IASC reaffirms decision to allow Qantas/South African Airways codeshare

International Air Services Commission (IASC) reaffirmed (09-Sep-2010) its decision to allow Qantas and South African Airways (SAA) to continue codesharing on routes between Australia and South Africa from 01-Jan-2011 to 31-Dec-2011. IASC reassessed its decision in Aug-2010 to allow the codeshare to continue after Virgin Blue announced plans to suspend V Australia's Melbourne-Johannesburg route from Feb-2011. In its latest decision, IASC concluded that the public benefits associated with the Qantas/SAA codeshare improved in 2009, ahead of the entry of V Australia on the route, approving the codeshare as a result. However, the IASC is concerned Qantas and SAA will be tempted, in the absence of V Australia, to allow capacity to become constrained as economic recovery leads to a return to demand growth on the route. To protect against a reduction in capacity, the IASC proposes to include a condition requiring Qantas and SAA to maintain a minimum of 14 services per week between them. This is an increase of two frequencies from the proposed conditions in the Aug-2010 draft decision and an increase of four frequencies from the Commission’s Dec-2008 decision. IASC will also monitor closely the development of traffic levels and capacity plans of Qantas and SAA over the months through to mid-2011 and the pricing behaviour in which they engage through that time. [more]