Qantas has applied to extend its codeshare with Japan Airlines until June 2017 after arguing that a strong improvement in the route is unlikely any time soon.
In a submission to the International Air Services Commission (IASC), Qantas said data from the Tourism Forecasting Committee show that traffic levels “have been subdued for some time and are forecast to remain so going forward”.
The carrier also disputed the commission’s “underlying assumption” that codeshares are “intrinsically anti competitive”.
“Codeshare arrangements allow competition on routes that may be unserved or are monopoly routes,” the airline said. “A codeshare such as the Jetstar/JAL arrangement, creates competitive tension as the carriers compete against each to sell inventory, albeit on the same aircraft.”
It allows JAL to “maintain a presence on the route”, Qantas added.
Addressing concerns that barriers to entry deterred the prospect of new competition, Qantas said the liberalisation of services, government initiatives to boost Japan’s aviation sector and the return of capacity by Qantas, the potential for new flights “is at the highest point since the commission first authorised codeshare arrangements”.