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AA and Qantas Deal Gets Final OK from DOT

American Airlines received final approval in a joint business agreement with Qantas allowing for new benefits and expansion of trans-Pacific services

by Business Traveler

July 21, 2019

American Airlines and Qantas now have the opportunity to jointly offer more products that will better serve customers flying between the United States and Australia and New Zealand. This has been a longstanding business objective of the partnership.

“We look forward to working closely with our valued partner, Qantas, on this new joint business,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “We now have the opportunity to launch new routes and provide enhanced service with better schedules, additional frequent flyer benefits and continued investments in the overall customer experience. We are grateful to Secretary Chao and the DOT team, as we welcome this fantastic news for our customers and team members.”

Final approval follows the DOT’s tentative approval of the joint business in June.

That agreement paved the way 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 (BNE) – Chicago (ORD) and BNE – San Francisco (SFO) now that final approval has been announced.

“Qantas and American submitted a compelling proposal to the DOT that would bring significant benefits to millions of travelers and a boost to tourism,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce. “For more than 30 years, Qantas and American have connected the U.S. 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.”