Qantas and American Airlines announced (12-May-2011) they are seeking regulatory approval for a joint business agreement (JBA) on their services between Australia/New Zealand and the US and beyond to third countries. The airlines, which are both part of the oneworld alliance, stated that if approved the “JBA will create a new strategic partnership between Qantas and American involving close commercial cooperation and resulting in significant benefits for consumers [and] enable the airlines to maximise the advantages of Qantas' new service to American's primary hub, Dallas/Fort Worth.” Qantas has filed an application for authorisation of the JBA with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and will file an application with the New Zealand Minister of Transport. The US Department of Transportation will review the agreement. Qantas operates 41 weekly return services between Australia/New Zealand and the US. These include 33 weekly services to Los Angeles, four to Honolulu and from 16-May, four-times weekly services to Dallas/Fort Worth. Qantas also operates six times weekly to New York JFK via Los Angeles.
The key elements of the JBA are:
- Joint strategic planning and management of trans-Pacific services and "behind and beyond" services within Australia/New Zealand and North America;
- Improvement of flight schedules, frequencies and connection times to benefit Qantas and American customers;
- Joint pricing initiatives resulting in more competitive fares and new fare products, as well as joint marketing of services;
- Increased opportunities for customers of each airline to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles/points on services operated by the other.
- A streamlined offering for corporate customers and for travel agents;
- The ability to coordinate pricing for the sale of Australia and New Zealand package destinations by AA Vacations, American's outlet for discount vacation packages.
Qantas: “This agreement has the potential to make travelling between Australia and the United States – and beyond – considerably more attractive for our customers, with better fares, improved connections and increased frequent flyer benefits.” Rob Gurney, Group Executive Commercial. Source: American Airlines, 12-May-2011.
American Airlines: “By strengthening and broadening further our cooperative business partnership with Qantas, American will be better positioned to deliver enhanced benefits to our joint customers. The expanded joint business agreement between American and Qantas will benefit our customers, financial partners, and employees … Together we are creating a new joint platform from which to launch significant growth in air travel between North America and the South Pacific." Virasb Vahidi, Chief Commercial Officer. Source: American Airlines, 12-May-2011.