This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American Airlines and Qantas Airways have received the green light for their long-sought partnership across the Pacific, paving the way for easier travel across their joint networks.

The US Department of Transportation signed off the joint venture on July 19, nearly two months after giving its tentative approval. The airlines will be able to act as essentially one between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand under the pact, which allows them to jointly coordinate everything from schedules to fares and sales.

“We now have the opportunity to launch new routes and provide enhanced service with better schedules, additional frequent flyer benefits and continued investments in the overall customer experience,” says Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of Fort Worth, Texas-based American, in a statement.

Qantas plans to add new service to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO) from Brisbane (BNE) under its new partnership with American. The airlines promised to launch at least three new routes if the pact was approved.

Sydney-based Qantas calls the two new routes its “first order of business” under the joint venture. Flights on Boeing 787-9 aircraft will begin by the end of April 2020.

American Airlines and Qantas routes between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand in December 2019. (Image by Diio by Cirium.)

Qantas and American together control a nearly 39% share of seats between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand in 2019, according to Diio by Cirium schedules. This is the largest combined share followed by Air New Zealand and United Airlines with 34% of seats, and the Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia with 15%.

Air New Zealand and United, as well as Delta and Virgin Australia already operate immunized joint ventures in the market.

The DOT’s approval does not come without conditions. The partnership will be reviewed annually and will be re-evaluated every seven years. In addition, the regulator bars each airline from an exclusive relationship requiring they interline with new entrants between the U.S. and both Australia and New Zealand.

However, the conditions required are not nearly as strict as those placed on American and Qantas’ first proposed tie up. The carriers dropped those plans, which they applied for in 2015, in late 2016 citing onerous conditions required by the regulator.

Neither American nor Qantas have said when they expect to implement the joint venture. However, such tie ups typically take several months after regulatory approval to implement.

Featured image courtesy of American Airlines.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.