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QANTAS in an attempt to reshuffle their long haul operation announce a radical change in their relationship with British Airways. QANTAS announced the end of a 17 year joint-venture with BA on the “Kangaroo Route” from London to Australia. That operation which used Singapore and Hong Kong as stop-over points will now be called the “Falcon Route” and operate through DXB. In addition QANTAS is re-timing their South-East Asia service to focus more on the regional market instead of passengers connecting from Europe. Service from Frankfurt is being canceled all together.

Why is QANTAS electing to run its London service through DXB, because they have signed onto a joint-venture with Emirates. The venture if approved will include revenue sharing, code-sharing, schedule alignment, and terminal access. QANTAS will be the first carrier outside of Emirates to use terminal 3 in DXB.

Why, are they doing this? To make money would be the accurate if pithy answer. BA, QF, and CX have been the core of the OneWorld alliance. These airlines all share strong ties to the British crown through history. It was the reason I was shocked to hear the news of the split. Let me be clear QANTAS is NOT leaving OneWorld, it is possible this move marks the start of the process to bring Emirates (EK) into OneWorld. EK has been looking for partners as recently as a couple of years ago. EK was partnered with Continental Airlines and United Airlines. However, those relationships were terminated at the request of the American carriers.

EK is a strong and growing middle-eastern carrier, with a strong presence in London and African markets. QANTAS expects revenue to grow with the change in partners. Obviously, EK sees QANTAS (QF) as a profitable carrier in its own right or expects to make up the profits with greater access to Australia and other markets in the area. QANTAS gains access to African markets as well as Different European markets.

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