American, Qantas Want To Coordinate Prices and Schedules Under Trump
American Airlines and Qantas, Oneworld partners, may see the presidency of Donald Trump as an opportunity to reapply to get permission from the U.S. Department of Transportation to coordinate schedules and pricing with each other, according to the Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce.
According to Reuters,
The pair’s application for a joint venture covering the United States, Australia and New Zealand markets was rejected in November under the Obama administration amid opposition from rival carriers Hawaiian Airlines Inc and JetBlue Airways Corp.
The alliance would have the largest share of seats between 200 pairs of cities, and account for nearly 60 percent of all seats between the United States and Australia, the department said.
President Donald Trump is expected to boost U.S. business through lighter regulation and his administration may take a more hands-off approach to anti-trust enforcement.
“What we need to do is work out the implications, which we are still working through and then talk about what we will do and review our options with the Trump administration,” Joyce told Reuters in Beijing on Thursday. “When we do, we will make an announcement of what our intentions are.”
American Airlines and Qantas are said to want to do this because American has been charging less than Qantas with its flights, which has put pressure on Qantas. Originally, Qantas and American agreed to open the market for American to Australia because Qantas didn’t have the plane to fly to San Francisco, so American took one of their slots from LAX and Qantas was able to expand to San Francisco.
The Department of Transportation denied American’s similar request in November and did not appeal. It now sees the new administration, which many believe may be more favorable to disregarding anti-trust laws, as a hope that a re-file will allow the two airlines to coordinate. Delta Airlines’ CEO has already expressed his hopes on the Trump Administration’s attempt to help U.S. carriers.