Under a restructured British Airways / Qantas Joint Services Agreement, from early 2012 Qantas will cease to fly from Bangkok and Hong Kong to London, but will continue to serve these cities from Australia and will also continue Airbus A380 services from Melbourne and Sydney to London via Singapore, as well as constructing a new premium lounge at Changi International Airport.
British Airways will no longer operate the Bangkok-Sydney sector, but will continue to operate services from London to Bangkok and Hong Kong, increasing the frequency of London-Hong Kong services from 14 per week to 17 per week, and will upgrade its London-Singapore-Sydney service from a Boeing 777 to a larger Boeing 747.
For Qantas, the restructured JSA will improve profitability on London routes and allow the early retirement of four Boeing 747 aircraft. Valuable landing rights at London Heathrow will be retained for future requirements.
Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said it was the right time to restructure the JSA. “Strengthening our relationship with British Airways is an important element of our new strategy for Qantas International. Singapore will become the focal point of the JSA relationship, with daily Qantas A380 services from Melbourne and Sydney and onward to London, increased British Airways capacity and a new premium lounge.
“The new approach is a smarter use of both airlines’ resources that will enhance our competitive position in Asia and in the Australia-Europe market. Regardless of which airline is operating flights between Australia and the United Kingdom, we are focused on delivering a smooth and enjoyable flying experience for passengers. Restructuring the JSA will put us on the front foot in the fiercely competitive Australia-UK air travel market.”
The Qantas-British Airways JSA was established in 1995 and gives the airlines regulatory approval to work together on strategic planning, schedules, pricing frequent flyer programmes and sales and marketing, as well as permitting revenue sharing.