Qantas has lodged an application with the International Air Services Commission (IASC) seeking a two year extension to its codeshare arrangement with South African Airways (SAA) on the South Africa route.
Under its arrangement, which started in 2000, SAA buys a ‘hard block’ of seats and codeshares on Qantas services from Sydney to Johannesburg, while Qantas does the same on SAA’s Perth-Johannesburg services. Both carriers price and sell their seats separately. Qantas is seeking reauthorisation for the codeshare arrangement for two years, with effect from January 1 2011.
“Qantas believes that the continuation of the codeshare arrangements provides an efficient use of capacity that enhances the viability of the carriers in the face of increasing competition, and maximises the public benefit,” the airline said in its application. “Discontinuing the codeshare arrangements would result in significant increases in average costs for both airlines and erode these public benefits.”
From September, Qantas will fly daily between Sydney and Johannesburg utilising Boeing 747-400s, while SAA currently flies daily A340-600 services to Perth. V Australia is the only other direct operator between Australia and South Africa, and flies twice weekly on the Melbourne-Johannesburg route, which will rise to three times weekly in December.