Qantas inches closer to partnership

Hotel News - 22/08/2011

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Qantas and American Airlines (AA) are a step closer to strengthening their partnership that covers flights between the USA and Australia. Qantas has been given tentative approval for the deal from Australia’s competition regulator.

The news offers the carrier a bit of a rest from the furore over the announcement last week that it will be cutting some 1,000 jobs. The company faces a backlash over news that the jobs, primarily pilots, cabin crew and engineers would be lost as Qantas aims to create a pair of new carriers in Asia.

News also emerged that both Alan Joyce, the Qantas CEO, and Leigh Clifford, the airline’s chairman, will face votes of no-confidence at the airline’s annual meeting this October. The union representing long-haul pilots is looking for 100 shareholders to support the motion.

News of tentative approval by the regulator saw Qantas shares rise half a cent, to AUS$1.455. That leaves shares only slightly higher than their lowest point since March of 2009.

The joint business agreement between Qantas and AA will see them co-ordinate their operations on a number of routes across the Pacific Ocean. These include Sydney-Los Angeles, Dallas-Honolulu and LA-Melbourne.

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission says it does not think the arrangement will lead to ‘anti-competitive’ developments as the two carriers have no overlapping direct flights between the USA and Australia. AA has not operated the trans-Pacific route in nearly 20 years.

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