Qantas and American Airlines announced a joint venture partnership back in 2011. Under the arrangement, Qantas and American have modified their schedules. American took over some of the Sydney-Los Angeles flying, while Qantas introduced a San Francisco service.
Subsequently, they proposed to enhance the joint venture partnership, to allow the airlines to coordinate schedule and pricing, as well as enter into a revenue-sharing arrangement. As is required for thse joint ventures, Qantas and American applied for antitrust immunity. This would allow them to jointly market, plan and operate flights between the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
While the proposal was approved by authorities in Australia and New Zealand, the US did not approve. In November, DOT knocked back the proposal on competition grounds. This DOT reasones that as the Qantas-American joint venture would control 60% of the U.S.-Australia market, it could not approve.
That was then
Once they learned of the rejection of their proposal, Qantas and American declined to appeal, and withdrew their application. Even though that was only two months ago, much has changed. The US has a new administration with the election of Donald Trump as their president.
Reuters is reporting that American are indeed looking at refiling their application:
“We do plan to refile the application with Qantas,” said Steve Johnson, American’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs. “It probably is a few weeks down the road … but we are looking forward to doing that and having another opportunity to make our case.”
So, time will tell if they do try again, but the omens are good.