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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce expecting huge growth in US market

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 9, 2016

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce at the official launch of the G'Day USA 2017 program. (Jordan Chong)
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce at the official launch of the G’Day USA 2017 program. (Jordan Chong)

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce is expecting huge growth in the US market as the airline saddles up for another year sponsoring the G’Day USA initiative.

The G’Day USA program for 2017 was officially launched inside Hangar 96 at Qantas’s Mascot base on Friday, with Joyce alongside Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steve Ciobo and other invited guests.

The airline has been a long-time sponsor of G’Day USA, which was established in 2004 to promote Australia’s tourism, business, defence and cultural opportunities in the United States.

That support of G’Day USA has endured even as Qantas fell out with Tourism Australia in 2012, when Joyce withdrew funding support for the national tourism body, saying at the time it was no longer possible to work with the organisation given its then-chairman Geoff Dixon was among a group of investors who were pushing for change at the airline.

However, in June 2015 Dixon stepped down as chairman and in August 2016 Qantas signed a $20 million joint marketing deal with Tourism Australia, ending the four-year quarrel.


And Joyce flagged boosting Qantas’s joint-marketing partnership with Tourism Australia during his remarks at the official G’Day USA launch.

“In the last year, what’s been great is that Qantas has reengaged now with Tourism Australia,” Joyce told invited guests and media.

“We’ll be making some bigger investments I think at G’Day USA on how we take that to the next level.”

Joyce noted the Australia-US market grew by about 10 per cent in the past year, with Qantas tapping into the rise passenger numbers through new routes such as Sydney-San Francisco and the upgauging of Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth to the Airbus A380 and boosting the service to daily.

“We’re the longest operating carrier on that route and today Qantas is bigger than all other airlines on the US route put together,” Joyce said of the trans-Pacific market.

“We’re expanding the market, a market that we see huge growth with.”

However, the airline’s plans for North America were dealt a blow in November when the US Department of Transportation (DOT) rejected an application for anti-trust immunity for a metal-neutral, revenue-sharing partnership with American Airlines.

Joyce said the impending arrival of the Boeing 787-9 into the fleet from October 2017 would allow the oneworld alliance member to further expand its presence in North America.

He said the 787-9 would “change the dynamic in North America by allowing us to fly longer routes than we’ve ever flown before” and allow Qantas to “grow the market even further”.

“We’re so excited about how the future looks,” Joyce said.

Potential routes for the next generation aircraft include Sydney-Chicago, Melbourne-Dallas/Fort Worth and Perth-London.

Bishop said the Australia’s relationship with the United States was the country’s most important and described G’Day USA as a great “public diplomacy initiative”.

“In a time of unprecedented change, with ever-shifting global dynamics it is more important than ever to treasure the long-standing relationships, to recognise the enduring nature of a relationship that has survived the good times and the tough times,” Bishop said.

“And there is no more important relationship for Australia than ours with the United States of America.

“The United States is our region’s security guarantor, our major defence partner, the largest source of foreign direct investment into our country and our second largest trading partner in goods and services.”

“Like any relationship it has to be nurtured, should never be taken for granted and this is where G’Day USA comes into its own.”

Figures from the G’Day USA website showed the program of events reached 100 million people and contributed more than one trillion dollars in Australia-US mutual investment in 2015. The 2017 program will feature events in New York, Los Angeles, and, for the first time, Austin, Texas.

Joyce said the G’Day USA events was extremely effective in getting the attention of consumers.

“It has contributed a huge amount to cut through and in a very noisy media market these days getting cut through is really key,” Joyce said.

The US is Australia’s fourth largest tourism market by visitor numbers behind New Zealand (1st), China (2nd) and the United Kingdom (3rd).

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Comments (10)

  • Shaggs


    Will Qantas committ to purchasing the 787-10 to further expand the network?

  • Jeff


    Your kidding,It’s taken til october next year before they even see one.All the other airlines will be upgrading to 350-10’s and 787-10,s by then.

  • Patrick Kilby


    The 787-10 will be used to replace the A333s which have another few years life in them. No need to order until 2020 but the price will be based on the original contract price.

  • John


    Joyce has miscalculated if he thinks people will put up with 3 3 3 seating on these long hauls . Understand him ordering 3 3 3 on Jetstar 787s but not Qantas. 787s should have been 2 4 2 for the prices they charge .

  • Anil Kattula


    By the time Qantas get their 787s and put them into service ( on flights out of Sydney only) they wil be so far behind their competitors! The US carriers are already introducing flights from all over America. Air NZ is actively targeting Australia -US marketwith mmultiple flights and destinations. All Qantas does is say we MAY start flights to Chicago! They don’t even fly to anywhere but LAX now from Brisbane or Melbourne! Qantas are Sydney’s airline and don’t represent the rest of Australia!

  • G4george


    Waste of money….only 47% of Americans have passports and the majority travel to either Europe or the Caribbean. Money is better spent advertising in Asia.

  • Corey


    What Qantas has done with their fleet is smart. Why go buy a new aircraft if your current fleet can do the job with an updated cabin and still be profitable? Also by simplifying the fleet was a good thing to do as well as it reduces operating costs and allows for greater commonality. What would be nice is for Qantas to replace the 737NG with the 737MAX 8 along with buying a fleet of 747-8i as they would be good for South America, South Africa, and North America flights such as Brisbane/Sydney to Miami Florida, Brisbane to Toronto, Brisbane/Sydney to Vancouver. Even flights to China, Japan, and LA-NYC could be served by the 747-8 since Qantas doesn’t fly the A380 out of Brisbane. Boeing would offer massive discounts just to get the sales and also it would mean minimal crew training and the 400 and 800 have common parts to having spares and serviceability wouldn’t be a problem. On another note when is Qantas going to renew and grow their freighter fleet? I thought they were getting the 747-8F and I would have expected a fleet of 5 747s and 3 767/A330 aircraft buy now and the BEA aircraft and 737s starting to be replaced by the 737NGs.

  • Stephen Boyce


    May be Qantas should do a Delta and order 2nd hand aircraft like boeing 777-300ER to replace boeing 747-400 or order airbus a350-1000 to replace boeing 747-400

  • MP


    QF will almost certainly end up with a fleet of 777-8s / 9s to replace the 747-400s (about a decade later than they could / should have!), and ultimately A380’s. Speculation has at least one of the new 777’s being able to make SYD – NY direct… combination of 777s & 787-9s should give QF flexibility to increase frequencies into key markets & flexibility to match equipment to demand… economics of big twins on these routes should be compelling…

  • Colin Chilcott


    Every time Qantas introduces a new flight, a new aircraft a new route etc etc and an article appears on AA,, the only comments appearing by readers seem to critical. Almost 100% of the time. Crikey! Give them a break! I am sure that Qantas are aware the 777s could and should have been bought earlier. Pretty certain that everyone in aviation has told them that 100 times over. Readers should remember that Qantas has only in recent times freed up capital to allow fleet expansion and a sustained period of profitability. It was not that long ago that analysts were stating that the value of Qantas share was essentially “junk”. This service direct from PER to LHR is landmark and a significant risk for Qantas. We should be congratulating them for be willing to pioneer this route on what is an amazing aircraft. 236 seats configuration with a greater pitch in economy? They may need to go to twice daily before too long.

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