Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Qantas drops plans to expand Air Niugini codeshare | May 18, 2018

Australia’s International Air Services Commission (IASC) has confirmed Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) has withdrawn its application for increased capacity allocation on the Papua New Guinea route via an expanded codesharing with Air Niugini (PX, Port Moresby).

The regulator said in a statement the application was withdrawn on May 15.

Qantas had intended to continue to codeshare on Air Niugini flights to Port Moresby from Brisbane Int'l and Sydney Kingsford Smith from July 1, 2018, and to start code sharing on Air Niugini's flights to the New Guinean capital from Cairns and Townsville.

 Virgin Australia, the only other Australian operator in the Australia-PNG market, lodged an objection on the grounds that the codeshare would jeopardise the sustainability of its services to PNG.

As such, in its draft determination issued earlier this month, the IASC tentatively ruled against granting the application on the grounds that it was not in the public interest.

“The Commission’s finding is that Qantas’s proposed free-sale codeshare arrangement with Air Niugini would reduce competition by increasing barriers to entry on the city pairs served only by Air Niugini (Cairns-Port Moresby, Sydney-Port Moresby, Townsville-Port Moresby) and by risking the withdrawal of Virgin Australia from the Brisbane-Port Moresby sector, where both Qantas and Air Niugini offer parallel services.”

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