QANTAS has applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), seeking approval to integrate Jetstar’s existing and future joint venture airlines and all operational, scheduling, pricing, marketing and purchasing functions in Asia-Pacific. The move could pose a problem for travel consultants, who face increased competition from direct bookings made through Jetstar’s Asia, Japan and Australia websites.
A Jetstar spokesperson said: “We sought this approval to enable the implementation of Jetstar’s Pan-Asia strategy, to (boost cooperation) between Jetstar branded airlines including Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Pacific, Jetstar Japan and in the future, Jetstar Hong Kong."
“Cooperation between Jetstar branded carriers allows the Jetstar Group to achieve economies of scale, which in turn helps maintain low fares. We know that offering low fares creates new demand for travel and supports existing markets.”
Justine Lally, marketing manager of APT Touring, an Australian outbound tour operator that has preferred agreements with Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Emirates, doesn’t believe Qantas’ strategy is going to impact its outbound business.
Barry Mayo, chairman of House of Travel, parent company of the TravelManagers group of home-based agents in Australia, added: “It would be in Qantas’ interests to continue to work with the industry, and there are no indications that this will be anything different.”
“Qantas/Jetstar’s application to the ACCC to authorise joint venture coordination is an attempt to compete on a more level playing field, reduce its dependence on end-to-end carriage, and provide access to a larger customer base and additional revenue.”
Qantas said in a statement: “(Our) investment in the Jetstar Pan-Asia strategy and the substantial public benefits that will result from its implementation are predicated on the ability of Jetstar LCCs to coordinate their operations through a single brand, go-to-market strategy and business model.”
“This will provide Australian consumers with a new and convenient one-stop shop to book itineraries across the Jetstar network, with one website for all Jetstar flights. Australian consumers can quickly and easily understand the choices on offer, and book a complex itinerary involving multiple Jetstar branded airlines in a single transaction.”