American Airlines and Qantas have welcomed the United States department of transportation’s tentative approval of the carriers’ joint business.
Final approval of the joint business will allow for commercial integration between the carriers, delivering new routes and significant customer benefits not possible through any other form of cooperation,
As part of the case put to the department of transport, Qantas and American flagged an intention to launch several new routes within the first two years of the proposed joint business.
Qantas expects to announce details of two new routes - Brisbane-Chicago and Brisbane-San Francisco - once final approval is received.
“As was evident in the unprecedented level of public support for this application, the joint business will also create additional jobs at our respective companies and in the industries we serve,” said American chairman and chief executive Doug Parker.
“We thank secretary Chao and the department of transport for their consideration and look forward to final approval in the coming weeks.”
American and Qantas will review the order, with a final decision from authorities expected in the next few weeks.
“Qantas and American submitted a compelling proposal to the department of transport that would bring significant benefits to millions of travellers and a boost to tourism,” said Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce.
“For more than 30 years, Qantas and American have connected the United States and Australia as partners.
“This joint business means we’ll be able to deepen our partnership to offer new routes, better flight connections and more frequent flyer benefits.”