American Airlines and Qantas have been approved to form a joint venture from the US government. The Department of Transport on Friday authorized the joint venture to coordinate its flight and pricing plans, frequent flyer and sales schedules, Reuters reported earlier.
The two airlines are already part of the OneWorld Union, which means that Qantas members can often earn points on US flights and vice versa. The Joint Undertaking will allow for better coordination, additional capacity for existing flights and three new routes for flights over the next two years, according to Reuters.
The Department of Transport has confirmed CNET approval, stating that the last KI follows the draft decision in June. This would be beneficial to users by providing more flights and more seats, a department statement said.
"Carriers are expected to begin coordinating their planning, pricing, sales and frequent travel activities to offer their customers a proposal for trans-Pacific flights with new options and improvements in customer service," they said. transport department on Friday. He added that American Airlines and Qantas will report annually on the partnership.
American Airlines welcomed the decision, saying it would "offer more products to better serve customers flying between the US and Australia and New Zealand."
"We now have the opportunity to launch new routes and provide better service with better schedules, additional benefits and ongoing investment, as well as constant investment in overall customer experience," says Doug Parker, CEO of American.
Qantas added that the deal would reduce travel time and lower prices as well as more routes – starting with direct flights from Brisbane, Australia, to San Francisco and Chicago. These new routes will work on the Dreamliner to launch by April 2020 and will "add more than 170,000 seats to the Pacific each year."
The Joint Undertaking between the two countries was initially rejected in 2016. The Obama administration concluded after a year and a half that such a partnership would reduce choice and competition.
First Published: July 19, 13:23 PT.
Update at 1:49 pm PT: Adds confirmation, Statements from the American and Transport Departments. Update, 15:29 PT: Add comments from Qantas.