It's not fashionable to say this, but Air NZ
and Qantas are now learning the British Airways / Go and Delta / Song lesson.
It's a dumb idea for legacy carriers to operate low cost carrier subsidiaries.
Jetstar Asia is bleeding money, while Jetstar yields are tiny and Freedom yields are worse. Even Virgin Blue is desperately trying (and failing) to replace its overall 30% market share with a decent number of high yield Business class passengers. If you offered DJ
CEO Brett Godfrey the chance to swap his current 30% market share (and 0% Business market share) with an overall 5% market share (including 20% of Business flyers) he would bite your hand off with enthusiasm.
Qantas are smart using staff on lower Australian Airlines awards to operate Qantas flights, just as Air NZ
will do with Freedom.
But Freedom operating as Freedom has zero future, and will be gone by the end of this year. After all, what exactly is the difference between flying Freedom and flying on a Smartsaver? The answer is a $1 pie and drinks.
Which is why Air NZ
Tasman and Fiji flights will soon allow points earning on Smartsaver fares (to compete with Pacific Blue) but will offer an even lower category of fare, probably called "Freedom Saver", where even drinks cost money. And FreedomSavers will be all that survives of Freedom Air.