American Airlines and QANTAS Airways welcome the U.S. Department of Transportation’s tentative approval of the carriers’ joint business to better serve customers flying between the United States and Australia and New Zealand.
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, including:
- The opportunity to launch new routes and flights to new destinations, including city pairs not currently served by either carrier.
- An expanded codeshare relationship and optimized schedules on trans-Pacific services, opening up more connections to more destinations and reduced total travel time.
- Better access to seats on each carrier’s network, leading to lower fares.
- Additional frequent flyer benefits by further integrating the carriers’ programs, including higher earn rates for points on each other’s networks beyond what is possible today through oneworld, as well as increased redemption opportunities and improved reciprocal end-to-end recognition of our top-tier frequent flyers.
- Co-location at airports and investments in lounges, baggage systems and other infrastructure designed to better serve the carriers’ joint customers.
As part of the case put to the DOT, 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, Australia (BNE)–Chicago (ORD) and BNE–San Francisco (SFO) — once final approval is received.
American and QANTAS Airways will review the Order, with a final decision from the DOT expected in the next few weeks.