Qantas rejects IASC codeshare findings

Qantas rejects IASC codeshare findings
By admin

Qantas has rejected the findings of the airline regulator that growth between Australia and South Africa will lead to new or existing carriers introducing additional flights on the route beyond 2014.

The airline said it has “serious concerns” over statements made by the International Air Services Commission (IASC) which last month approved a continuation of the codeshare between Qantas and South African Airways but only until the end of 2014.

The airlines had sought approval to extend their relationship until March 2016.

In its draft ruling the IASC said that if current passenger growth rates continue, both SAA and Qantas could offer competing services from both Sydney and Perth after 2014, or another carrier could enter the market.

But Qantas dismissed the belief there was a “greater prospect” of two carriers operating parallel direct services beyond that date.

Even a limited schedule of four weekly 747 flights would add more than 150,000 seats to the route, it said.

If passenger numbers increased 5.7% in each of the next three years – the same annual growth over the past seven years – that would only increase total passenger numbers by 30,000.

Qantas also rejected the IASC conclusion that competition between the codeshare partners was “limited”.

They compete vigorously, it said, with the “hard block” codeshare arrangement ensuring the two carriers compete “absolutely independently on the route”.

“A hard block codeshare can best be analogized to two airlines operating separate and distinct smaller competing flights within the body of a larger aircraft,” Qantas said. “The fact that the seats are on the same aircraft is irrelevant”.

Qantas also accused the IASC of appearing to “almost wilfully misunderstand” the codeshare and “commercial realities of managing a committed inventory block”.

Meanwhile, the carrier disagreed that only “marginal” consumer benefits would arise from the codeshare.

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