American Airlines and Qantas are trying yet again to get their joint venture over the line, despite the fact their first attempt at collaboration was denied by US regulators in 2016.
This week the airlines have presented to the US Department of Transportation for a second time to ask if they can coordinate prices and schedules on flights between North America and Australia and New Zealand.
Originally, their request was denied based upon the fact that the tie-up between the major US carrier and largest Australian carrier would harm competition and consumer choice.
It has been reported that the two airlines have renewed hope for their application under the new Trump administration.
In a statement released in both the Qantas and American Airline’s newsrooms, the carriers suggested that an expanded relationship would unlock more than $310 million in benefits to consumers through improved connections, flight frequency and lower connecting fares.
The airlines could also jointly add new routes to other Australian cities and New Zealand with up to 180,000 new trips annually possible from the joint venture.
The carriers have made it clear that if the joint business is not approved there will be consequences with American and Qantas having no choice but to further reduce codesharing on their networks.
This could jeopardise the number of services and routes each carrier flies between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand.
Nobody wants that.
The key example that the pair used was that Qantas may be forced to reduce the frequency of, downgauge or potentially cancel its A380 service between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth, and American may further reduce its services between Los Angeles and Sydney and Auckland.
“These routes rely on codeshare support from each airline’s feeder network via their respective hub cities to be economically viable.”
Qantas & American Airlines.
It was both airline’s view that the 2016 decision did not take into account “precedent, intense competition on the Trans-Pacific route and the benefits a closer relationship between the two carries had already delivered and would deliver going forward, including new routes”.
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