British Airways to keep flying to Australia
British Airways says it is committed to the London-Sydney route following speculation it would pull out due to the new alliance between Qantas and Emirates.
BRITISH Airways says it is committed to the London-Sydney route following speculation it would pull out due to the new alliance between Qantas and Emirates.
If that partnership is approved by the competition regulator, British Airways and Qantas will terminate their own 17-year joint-services agreement.
British Airways had told the regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, that the end of its Qantas alliance would make it difficult to operate long-haul flights between Britain and Australia.
The airline said it would lack the cost and network advantages that Emirates, Qantas and Jetstar would enjoy.
The Qantas tie-up with Emirates led to reports that British Airways might abandon the route, but the airline released a statement saying it would continue to serve Australian customers on its daily Sydney service.
It said that it was exploring options for when the Qantas alliance ended but while maintaining and developing existing code-shares with Qantas in Asia and Europe.
Virgin Australia has also opposed the deal, saying the tie-up with Emirates would reduce competition and strengthen Qantas’s dominance in Australia.
This follows Qantas’s own campaign this year against Middle Eastern airline Etihad’s financial backing and 10 per cent stake in Virgin.
Qantas said it was threatened by that investment because state-owned Etihad could fund a flooding of Australia’s domestic capacity and steal its markets.