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Tag Archives: Qantas

We’re going to call this, your moment of zen.

tl;dr? well man wearing famous quote from “The Princess Bride” causes stir on a Qantas SYD-AKL flight.

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I was a member of OnePass since 1991. That was in the bad old days of corporate raider Frank Lorenzo. Since 1991 I have flown Continental BusinessFirst three times, once was an op-up on EWR-DUB in 2009 and twice using a SWU in 2012. I’ve flown United Global First once, NRT-SEA in 2011 on an award ticket. In other American airlines I flew World Business Class on Northwest once in 2009 on DTW-AMS and I bought up on US for PHL-MAD. Compare this with non-US carriers and it becomes clear I have or will fly in a premium cabin on: Thai x3, Asiana x2, Lufthansa, Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air x3, JAL, and Virgin Atlantic. There is a Swiss ticket in there, but that is still up in the air. All of this is by way of saying that I don’t really like to fly US premium cabins, why because they are generally not worth the money or points.

Almost universally, Non-U.S. carriers deliver a better premium experience than U.S. carriers. Today Qantas announced that is going to be improving its long haul business class product. Changes include a duvet/”mattress pad” for the seat, amenity kits by Kate and Jack Spade, advanced meal selection, and car service to/from the airport. On United in their business class one gets none of that, well one gets an amenity kit (with Chinese toothpaste). See the Stuck At The Airport Blog for more details.

For a person paying with cash, the increased service and soft product may not be worth the 20% premium that Qantas commands. But Qantas is selling the seats, and that means while the improved products cost more they generate a premium that exceeds their costs. Qantas is delivering a higher quality product that is generating quality revenue. When a person uses points, the difference is even starker. With points Lufthansa and United first cost the same amount. In that case why would I ever chose United unless, there was no availability on Lufthansa. This is something American understands and is why they are investing in their soft product. If U.S. carriers had a better product I would fly them more.

Happy Flying!


P.S. I am off on Mileage Run this weekend, so you can look forward to an exciting trip report on Monday.


People and countries in the west have a hard time dealing with Iran. That goes double for American’s who are used to hearing Iran’s ever popular single “Death to America.” Whether or not Iran is misunderstood or a threat world peace is immaterial to the western response. Most western countries have either established or gone along with trade embargos placed on Iran. As this is an aviation blog, the embargo is that no one may sell any aircraft to Iran or Iranian interest an aircraft that has 10% or more U.S. made parts. Boeing and Airbus Planes all exceed 10%, so it is illegal to sell them to Iran.

For Iranian carriers, Mahan and Iran air, this represents a problem. This limits their ability to modernize their fleet. They are left with three options. First, they can lease aircraft to get around the sales provisions. Next, they can buy from other manufacturers, Tupolev for example. Finally, they can make shady brokered deals.

Both Iran and Mahan Air have gone the shady deals route. The main way those two can acquire second hand aircraft is by getting a third party broker. For example, in 2006 United Airlines, yes the United Airlines, sold four 747-400 aircraft to a Moldovan airline called “Blue Sky Airlines.” Well they were painted up in the Blue Sky livery, re-registered and immediately sold to Mahan Airlines. There wasn’t anything that proved United knew where the aircraft were going to end up. At the end of the day the broker a British concern was fined 17 million dollars. There is an accusation that Mahan Air “stole” those aircraft from Blue Sky, using a forged bill of sale. This seems ridiculous, even though the aircraft are being kept within Iran.

Iran Air, has recently been acquiring second hand A320s that are all ex Iberia. This deal was brokered through an African airline, though the temporary registration was listed out of the UAE. There are also rumors out of Flight Global, that they are looking to pick up some ex Qantas 747-300s. Again this deal, if it is real, is being brokered through the Middle East. The moral here is that sanctions do not work. In order for them to work all countries have to be willing to agree to them and enforce them. Otherwise you get what is going on here, a third party country brokering the deal, willing to tell the U.S. to take a hike.

Happy Travels!


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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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