Who could Qantas merge with?

Qantas 747-400.jpgOkay, that is not a trick question. In a speech yesterday, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said that consolidation is necessary in the airline industry and his airline could participate in it. He added that Qantas would keep its name and Australian heritage, and that it would be the lead partner.

There are various regulatory and governmental issues that must be overcome, something Joyce spoke about in an interview with Airline Business magazine recently, before something like this can be considered.

Here is the thing – who would Qantas want to explore a merger with? There are several possibilities I reckon.

Etihad – they have a close relationship through codeshares, but would it make sense to go with a Middle Eastern carrier? There is access to the growing Middle Eastern hubs, but is that really crucial for Qantas?

AirAsia – while both Qantas’ low-cost subsidiary Jetstar and AirAsia have consistently said that their tie-up that was announced in January is focused on cost-savings rather than revenue generation, there remains speculation that it could lead to more in the future. Why would Qantas, however, go with a partner that could cannibalise the highly successful and profitable Jetstar’s market?

Malaysia Airlines – this could be an interesting tie-up, with some people telling me that Qantas wants to do more out of Malaysia (its Asian hub, perhaps, with Jetstar going with Singapore as its hub). MAS needs help, but the governments could be a barrier.

British Airways – yes, it may be time to revisit this old chestnut. But again, would they really want to go through it again?

Japan Airlines – the Oneworld partners could actually be great for each other if, again, governmental regulations can be overcome. They actually complement each other very well (Northeast Asia and the Southeast Asian/Pacific markets), trans-Pacific and flights to Europe. JAL needs the money, and Qantas would gain access to markets it does not have right now.

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2 Responses to Who could Qantas merge with?

  1. cityprofessional 23 April, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    You forgot to mention Air New Zealand. Blast from the past, but competition is less of an issue now Virgin/Pacific Blue is stronger. Heaps of synergies, and guaranteed to blow a hole into Star Alliance’s plans in the South Pacific…

  2. Newbie 24 April, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    What about Cathay Pacific. There was an article about what if Qantas and Cathay merged. http://simpliflying.com/2008/why-a-qantas-and-british-airways-merger-is-good-and-why-qantas-cathay-pacific-will-be-even-better/

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