A tie up between American Airlines and Qantas for transpacific routes has been given the go-ahead from Australia’s competition watchdog.
The news comes as a breath of fresh air for the Qantas, which is facing a wrath of criticism and industrial action following last week’s announcement of major restructuring plans that involves the loss of 1,000 jobs as well as the start-up of a Jetstar-like Japan branch and a new premium Southeast Asian airline.
Qantas shares rose half a point following the news on Monday, though the airline continues to face more trouble as shareholders have been urged to vote no confidence in chief executive Alan Joyce. The value of Qantas shares remains barely above the lowest levels seen since early 2009 when airlines were still feeling the wake of the financial crisis just months before.
But the approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission means that Qantas and American Airlines will soon be able to code share and coordinate flights between major Australian cities and top US gateways including Dallas, Honolulu and Los Angeles. The agency ruled that allowing the tie-up wouldn’t have any substantial anti-competitive effects because the two carriers will not have overlapping services.
Both airlines say the deal will allow for useful network expansion and greater appeal for frequent flier programs.