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Qantas 787-9

A Qantas Boeing 787-9 departing LAX (Photo: AirlineGeeks | James Dinsdale).

Qantas Set to Form a Joint Business Agreement With Japan Airlines

Following the drastic reduction in the number of passengers flying this year, many airlines are seeking new ways to attract travelers on board in time for next summer. Australian flag-carrier Qantas is negotiating with Japan Airlines to increase travel between Australia and Japan by a new “joint business.” The two carriers, members of the Oneworld alliance, already have a close partnership with many mutual benefits for its frequent flyers.

Japan is one of the countries that have entered the recent “travel bubble” of Australia. In addition to that decision, Qantas and JAL expect to sign an agreement to launch new routes for next summer. Both carriers want to make that partnership effective by July 2021, when they think they will have their international networks running again. That decision would mean an expanded codeshare between both which will enable more connections for passengers traveling between Japan and Australia. Apart from better connections and optimized schedules, the new partnership will enable passengers to have better profitability of their points and a greater number of business and premium seats.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Qantas already connected Tokyo Haneda with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Moreover, the carrier also flew from Sydney to Osaka and Hokkaido. On the other hand, JAL used their Boeing B787 to connect Tokyo with Sydney and Melbourne. For the new routes, the Australian carrier will use their Airbus A330 or their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, while Japan Airlines will keep flying the newest Boeing aircraft.

The joint business decision still depends on the approval of the regulatory institutions of Australia and is a clear reaction to the agreement signed in October 2019 between Virgin Australia and ANA that began working back in July 2020. Those carriers agreed then to operate codeshare flights, common frequent flyers program and lounge access for both. Moreover, Qantas and Virgin Australia asked to postpone the launch of their new route between Tokyo Haneda and Melbourne and Brisbane, respectively, from March 2020 to October 2021.

The “joint business” model is widely used between many airlines and, especially, between members of the same alliance. In Oneworld, from 2013, the one formed by American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia connect Europe with the United States in an ambitious transatlantic plan. Furthermore, back in December 2019, the four carriers announced 8 new routes with 14,500 additional seats and 1,000 weekly frequencies between both continents.

Qantas with JAL is not the only new partnership in the Oneworld alliance. Qatar Airways have agreed on new codeshare flights with China Southern and Air Canada that have started operating this December 2020. On one side the connection between Guangzhou International Airport and Doha Airport and in the other on the flights between Doha and Toronto Pearson Airport. All these measures try to encourage passengers on board again for the 2021 summer with the hope of a better situation.

Arturo Higueras
Arturo Higueras
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