Singapore Airlines effectively did a deal with Qantas over 'on-carriage' or connecting flights that is so good it has no incentive to throw more money after the $700 million or so it has already burned on Air NZ
has done considerable damage to Qantas and DJ
yields, with Qantas admitting to a 9.6% drop in July and Virgin Blue shocking the market with a 20% drop in profits in the four months to the end of July.
is not going head to head with DJ
where it does the most damage to Qantas which is the trunk line routes like SYD
-Brisbane. And it appears to have driven a lot of former Qantas customers in Tasmania and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts into Virgin Blue jets, where they have discovered it is a much more comfortable experience than Jetstar, and at pretty good fares.
(The fares situation is very confusing, you can get great deals on all carriers if you haunt the websites. Really p**sses off the corporate accounts and small business types like me, because these accounts no longer deliver consistently competitive outcomes.)
Bearing in mind that all three carriers are run by pretty smart people it is safe to predict that all three may change their style of service in some manner over the next year or so.
Room for a fourth carrier just isn't there, as people have rightly noted. And you'd have to ask where they would get the necessary gates at the major airports. The new Adelaide domestic terminal is pretty shabby for REX but great for Qantas and Virgin Blue, as you'll see when it opens soon, T2
at Sydney is looking so tight they are trying to force REX out, and Qantas is dealing with its inability to sell T3
at the 'right' price to Sydney Airport, which wants to blend T2
via the horshoe shaped area that lies between them.
One things for sure, the market isn't going to back a full service carrier if it wants to have a float. They don't earn enough money, even Qantas says it is making less than an adequate return on investment, so it will have to be low cost in structure, whether it chooses to go the Virgin Blue/JetBlue route or model itself more like Ryanair/Jetstar.