The US & Australia DO
NOT have an OPEN SKY
Agreement!!! The Oz government will not negotiate trade agreements on an industry by industry basis. However the recently concluded, but as yet unratified, Australia/US Free Trade Agreement's only referance to Aviation is in an annex to the main agreement, which is a letter from US State dept saying they agree to further negotiations on aviation.
Having said that the current bi lateral treaty is pretty free, ANY US airline that wants to operate to OZ
can do so as there is unused US capacity in the agreement. It just has to get approval from US authorities. US State dept then notifies OZ
government of the details,which then has to approve the flights. If they are within the parameters of the current bilateral treaty this approval is a formality and will be quickly issued. If the proposal is outside the current bilateral then negotiations must take place, this can delay things, but not for long in the current climate.
So why are there not at least two US carriers to OZ
Because they don't believe that they can make money on the route OR
(& more likely) they believe they can make a better "return on investment" that is MORE money, elsewhere.
While currently flights are full, they are still relatively expensive flights to operate and a lot of traffic is low yield, so they are not necessily the most profitable. They lack of more US operators rather suggests that this is the case.
I have said it before and I'll say it again, the US - SW
Pacific is a difficult route to operate, its long, its thin and it has compertision that will fight you to the death because they have no where else to go! What ever happens, on the US-SW Pacific route - 2nd last carrier standing = QF
. Last carrier standing = NZ