oneworld partners British Airways and Qantas have confirmed they will enhance their long-standing Joint Services Agreement (JSA) partnership to strengthen their Singapore hub.
The move is part of the Qantas’ five-year plan to build a truly modern, customer-focused and competitive global airline business announced today.
Qantas will continue Airbus A380 services from Melbourne and Sydney to London via Singapore, as well as constructing a new premium lounge at Changi International Airport.
In turn, British Airways will upgrade its London-Singapore-Sydney service from a Boeing 777 to a larger Boeing 747.
These changes will consolidate Singapore’s position as the primary hub for the JSA relationship, bolstering the two carriers’ competitive position in the Asia-Pacific region.
They will result in a market-leading customer offer both north and south of Singapore, as well as greater operational efficiencies.
Under the restructured JSA, from early 2012 Qantas will fly Australia-Bangkok and Australia-Hong Kong, while British Airways will operate Bangkok-London and Hong Kong-London, maximising the airlines’ respective network strengths.
British Airways will increase the frequency of London-Hong Kong services from 14 per week to 17 per week.
Qantas will no longer operate the Bangkok-London and Hong Kong-London sectors and British Airways will no longer operate the Bangkok-Sydney sector.
However, customers will still be able to connect swiftly and efficiently through both cities.
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 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,” Joyce said.
“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 programs and sales and marketing, as well as permitting revenue sharing.