American Airlines, Qantas seek regulatory approval for joint business agreement

American Airlines and Australian carrier Qantas Airways resubmitted an application yesterday to form a joint business on routes between North America, Australia and New Zealand with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Under the proposed agreement, the airlines would greatly expand codeshare flights between the United States and the Australian continent. While the proposal highlights passenger service, according to the amended joint application that was originally filed on Nov. 3, 2017, the carriers would also work to expand cargo services under the codeshare agreement. Other areas of cooperation include sharing facilities and aligning the carriers’ IT systems to streamline operations.

American Airlines said the agreement would also likely lead the carriers to add flights between new city pairs not currently served by American Airlines or Qantas, and potentially not only between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand. In a joint application by the carriers, the airlines said, “the parties will consult from time to time with a view to reaching agreement on marketing, selling and providing passenger and cargo transportation throughout the world as a seamless transportation system to the maximum extent that is commercially feasible and permitted by applicable law.”

According to the filing, the first application to expand cooperation between the carriers was denied in November 2016, in an order to show cause. The airlines currently operate under a limited codeshare agreement, but if the newly submitted agreement is not approved, American said, “American and Qantas will have no choice but to further reduce codesharing on their networks.”

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