Qantas Has No Further Merger Talks Planned

Feb 4, 2009
By Jens Flottau

Qantas Airways is “not actively involved” in any merger talks after the collapse of negotiations between it and British Airways, Managing Director and CEO Alan Joyce told AviationWeek at a Oneworld event in Madrid.

Instead, Qantas is focusing on managing the current downturn on its own. According to Joyce, Qantas could not come to terms with BA regarding the merger ratio and was not willing to give up control of the Australian airline operation.

As a consequence of a slump in long-haul premium traffic, Qantas is “deliberately growing” its Jetstar low-cost subsidiary which is still profitable. But while the Jetstar fleet is increased, Joyce rules out shifting part of its Airbus A380 order to the affiliate.

“In Jetstar lay-out, it would have more than 800 seats and that’s too big. That will never happen,” says Joyce, who headed Jetstar until taking over the group CEO position last December. The 20 aircraft will be mainly operated on the London and Los Angeles routes with some of them occasionally deployed on Asian routes, Joyce says.

If the demand downturn continues, Qantas benefits from some “great flexibility” in its aircraft orders. With the first Boeing 787s allocated to Jetstar around two years late, it can walk away from the first 15 aircraft on firm order according to the contract details, Joyce says. But if Jetstar does take the aircraft, they will be used for growth into Europe with a focus on cities such as like Rome and Athens.

Photo: Qantas

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