Qantas and Japan Airlines (JAL) will be forming a new joint business agreement, which will bring about more premium business and premium economy seats, as well as more streamlined processes.
The coordination made possible through a joint business would enable Qantas and JAL to ramp up flights between Australia and Japan sooner than would otherwise be possible. The airlines have also flagged an intention to launch a new route between Australia and Japan and which will be announced once regulatory approval is received, borders open and demand returns.
The proposed five-year agreement also includes:
- An expanded codeshare relationship and optimised schedules on flights between Australia and New Zealand and Japan, opening up more connections to more destinations beyond the major city gateways. Qantas customers would have access to 14 new codeshare destinations in Japan and JAL customers would have access to 15 new codeshare destinations in Australia and New Zealand.
- Enhanced frequent flyer benefits for Qantas and JAL customers, including improved earn of Qantas points or JAL miles on routes under the joint business, as well as the ability to upgrade using points or miles on each other‚Äôs services.
- Improvements in the customer experience, including streamlined processes for disruption management and investments in product and service inflight and on the ground.
- More premium travel opportunities, with Qantas able to offer customers a greater number of Business and Premium Economy seats on flights operated by JAL.
- Coordination of pricing, schedules, sales and tourism marketing to develop new and improved travel products.
The airlines have submitted an application for authorisation to regulators in Australia and New Zealand, with a decision expected within six months. Subject to this regulatory approval, it is anticipated that the joint business would commence operations around July 2021, when Qantas has said it expects its international network to gradually restart.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said this venture would play a vital role in reviving trade links with the world‚Äôs third-largest economy and deliver significant benefits for customers travelling between Australia and Japan.
‚ÄúThe joint business means we‚Äôll be able to build on our existing relationship with JAL through oneworld to offer more routes, better flight connections and more benefits to frequent flyers. It also helps us diversify our portfolio of joint businesses amongst Australia‚Äôs key trading partners,” noted Joyce.
Japan Airlines’ president Yuji Akasaka added: ‚ÄúWe believe that a joint business with Qantas will make for a quicker recovery between both countries with the ability to expand connectivity within each carrier‚Äôs respective domestic network, providing more customer choice and travel growth opportunities.‚ÄĚ