Qantas has been in hibernation mode for the better part of two years, but that hasn’t stopped it from trying to make an ambitious dream a reality: direct flights to London and New York from Sydney and Melbourne.
Group boss Alan Joyce has announced the resumption of plans to focus on the ultra long haul direct flights.
“Our latest customer research shows the demand for direct long-haul flights is even stronger than it was pre-COVID, so our focus on delivering non-stop services from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London remains,” he said.
The airline announced its half yearly results yesterday, reporting an underlying $1.3 billion pre-tax loss for the six months until December 31.
But as travel picks up, Qantas faces a new competitor on the field in the form of Bonza.
Joyce, however, is not worried, calling Qantas “the little Aussie battler”.
“We know we’re in one of the most competitive markets domestically in the world,” he said at yesterday’s press conference.
According to Joyce, in Australia “any carrier can be 100 per cent foreign owned and that doesn’t happen anywhere else in the globe”.
“In the US, you can only be 25 per cent foreign owned. I think in Japan to have an airline you can only have 33 per cent of foreign equity on it.”
“So what’s great for the Australian travelling public is they’ve got these big American private equity companies setting up airlines here that are 100 per cent owned by them and you’ve got the Singaporean companies investing in an airline like Rex.”
But Joyce doesn’t think the battle is between Qantas and Rex or Virgin and Jetstar or Rex and Bonza, it’s actually happening where these carriers are on a route together, News Corp reported.
“We can see where Rex and Virgin are on the same routes, there’s massive competition on airfares. We can see that potentially happening with Bonza, it’s actually avoiding routes that Qantas and Jetstar are on.
“Of the routes they launched, only one of them is a Jetstar route, a Melbourne route, so we’re very comfortable on Jetstar’s position at that moment in the market.”
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