It is difficult from a consumer perspective to see any potential benefit for travellers in the proposed but as yet imprecisely detailed merger ‘of equals’ between Qantas and British Airways.
Qantas isn’t discussing the proposal, so it is unable to help find them at this stage.
All that the much vaunted Joint Services Agreement that currently exists between the two carriers achieved was a negative for travellers and another black mark for the ACCC for being conned.
There is no evidence it deliver more choice or more flights or lower Qantas or British Airways fares. It saw BA fade away to token frequencies on the kangaroo route, and as ever, the competitive pricing pressure came from other major brands in air travel including Singapore Airlines, Thai International, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and so forth.
Let’s be charitable. The consumers that would most benefit from a QF+BA set up in which Qantas was on top would be those of the UK, as the Qantas product in any class is superior in seat width and leg room and BA doesn’t have enough A380s on order to offer its intrinsically better amenity on the London-Australia routes in the next few years, while Qantas will move to at least two or three flights a day on the big Airbus.
The so-called connectivity that Qantas and British Airlines offer at London Heathrow is not a selling point. Who in their right mind would willingly make a connection at Heathrow, or worse still, one that involved changing to Gatwick Airport for the second flight, to back track to a part of Europe that Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai International and Emirates can fly into non-stop from their intermediate hubs, saving up to half a day of aggravation?
This deal is not about improving life for the customers, but attempting to reduce competition and risk.