BA and Qantas sign up for another 5 years
According to an article from Travel Today online, Qantas and British Airways will continue their commercial tie-up between Australia and Europe for a further five years, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ruled the joint services agreement (JSA) would lead to lower fares, particularly in economy class.
But the ACCC warned that there had been a decline in the level of public benefit delivered by the deal since it last granted authorisation in 2005.
“While the JSA is likely to continue to deliver a public benefit in the form of broader availability of schedule options for air passengers, the applicants have reduced capacity on some routes and decreased the schedule options since the last authorisation,” the ACCC said.
The emergence of new entrant mid-point carriers had also impacted competition, the ACCC said. But it added that the JSA is likely to provide cost savings which will be passed on to consumers, particularly those travelling on economy fares. “The increasing competition from other carriers means the JSA is unlikely to result in any substantial lessening of competition in the relevant markets,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.
A Qantas spokesperson said the carrier was pleased with the decision, adding there would be no changes to flight schedules. Nicole Backo, BA regional commercial manager, South West Pacific, said the deal “re-affirms our commitment to the Australian market”. BA announced this week it would drop one of its daily flights from Sydney to London, via Singapore, during March and May.
Editors Comments: How pleased should we be that this agreement is staying especially with the news that yet another life-line tourism route is being trimmed ? I'm not sure this is good news. comments please...