Sydney is NOT included – I think both airlines know that such a request would be thrown out as damaging to competition. Instead, it will cover the following routes:
- Adelaide – Manchester
- Adelaide – London
- Canberra – London
- Melbourne – London
- Melbourne – Edinburgh
- Melbourne – Manchester
- Perth – London
- Perth – Edinburgh
- Perth – Manchester
What is a little odd about this joint venture is that British Airways brings virtually nothing to the party EXCEPT for its brand. Apart from the BA flight to Doha, every other flight in the joint venture will be operated by Qatar Airways.
At present, anyone looking to travel from London to Adelaide would be routed on British Airways to Sydney and then onto a Qantas codeshare. British Airways believes it can make more money by filtering passengers onto a Qatar Airways flight in Doha. As this is a joint venture, rather than just a codeshare, British Airways should make more money.
There would be very little obvious difference if the joint venture was approved. There may be some retiming of flights so that connection times in Doha are minimised. British Airways Executive Club status members would receive a tier bonus on the Qatar Airways service from Doha, which is not currently offered. Apart from that ….. little changes.
This doesn’t mean that approval for the joint venture is a given, of course, since it reduces competition into the four Australian cities. It may also raise questions over the future of the British Airways Sydney service, with many potential passengers planning to connect onwards now siphoned off via Doha instead.
You can find out more on the ACCC website here.
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