American, Qantas meeting next week to map out transpacific partnership

Sep 24, 2019

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American Airlines and Qantas Airways are about to get a whole lot closer across the Pacific.

Two months after receiving final approval to cooperate between the U.S. and both Australia and New Zealand, executives from the two Oneworld Alliance carriers are set to sit down and talk specifics at American’s Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters during the week of Sept. 30, TPG understands.

American and Qantas have a lot to sort out. A joint venture allows multiple airlines to act as essentially a single carrier in the approved market, for example coordinating schedules and fares. However, companies are careful not to discuss the potential cooperation beyond their joint application prior to approval for fear of flying afoul of government antitrust rules.

Related: American and Qantas Can Launch Their Long-Sought Partnership

Topics of discussion at next week’s meeting are likely to include a range of topics. For example, possibilities include the timing of their two daily flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Sydney (SYD), American’s planned new route to Australia or New Zealand, and expanding their codeshare agreement across both airline’s domestic networks.

American and Qantas promised at least three new routes, as well as other capacity increases, in their joint venture application. Qantas will launch two routes next year, with flights between Brisbane (BNE) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) beginning in April, and San Francisco (SFO) in February.

In July, American president Robert Isom said the carrier planned a new route under the joint venture that it would announce in the “coming months.”

Related: American Airlines Plans New Australia Route

Attendees at the World Routes conference in Adelaide, Australia, this week expect the new service will originate from American’s Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) hub but were split on where it could land Down Under. Auckland (AKL), Brisbane and Melbourne (MEL) were named as possible destinations.

“We haven’t even seen what LA-Sydney looks like with Qantas support,” Henning Greiser, manager of international network planning in charge of all but the Americas at American, told TPG when asked about the new route at World Routes. “We expect to see regular growth together.”

Brisbane, Dallas/Fort Worth and Melbourne airports all confirmed that they had discussed a potential route with American at the conference.

“We think we’re on the cusp of something,” DFW executive vice-president of global strategy and development John Ackerman told TPG.

Featured image by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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