It would be very close to a no-brainer for them, actually. The Minister's IASC Policy Statement requires the IASC to consider, in addition to whether a carrier is reasonably capable of operating the proposed service, whether allocating capacity in a particular way is in the public interest. Particularly following their own decision on QF/CX, the IASC would be very hard pressed to find that awarding all available HND capacity on the Australian side to a single carrier is in the public interest - noting, of course, that QF is partnered with JQ and JL in operating the vast majority of Australia - Japan services. I expect NH would also be looking at its legal options to appeal such a decision.
The key question being is Virgin "reasonably capable of operating the proposed service" because unless it is there is no public benefit or interest in giving them such an important slot. As other posters also point out in order to Virgin to do this they would also need to withdraw capacity from somewhere being either HKG or domestic services. If they do it from HKG it kind of makes a mockery of all of their objections to the QF/CX codeshare deal but if they withdraw it from domestic services then they become substantially less competitive with QF's transcontinental services with 737's picking up where A330's used to be. Either way there is a public detriment to any Virgin action unless they are planning on increasing their fleet numbers.
The other important consideration is whether or not Virgin will be in a position to fully operate the services by 29 March 2020 as well because if they're not going to daily from day 1 then that also means the public is at detriment.
I look forward to seeing how all of these will be addressed by Virgin in their application because the IASC will definitely need this information from them to give an allocation.
If VA did apply for a slot and was successful, which way does QF go? I'm inclined to think 2x SYD-HND and keep MEL-NRT. JAL will almost certainly move SYD-NRT to HND with their slot and keep MEL-NRT, so there is no real competitive advantage to MEL-HND. I guess the unknown is what VA and/or NH apply for.
If QF only gets one slot pair what I would do for QF/JL out of Tokyo is:
- SYD-HND - 1 daily (QF existing service)
- SYD-HND - 1 daily (JL to replace SYD-NRT)
- SYD-NRT - 1 daily (JQ new service)
- MEL-HND - 1 daily (QF to replace MEL-NRT)
- MEL-NRT - 1 daily (JL existing service)
- BNE-NRT - 1 daily (QF existing service)
- OOL-NRT - 1 daily (JQ existing service)
- CNS-NRT - 1 daily (JQ existing service)
Obviously QF/JQ have SYD-KIX, CNS-KIX and SYD-CTS seasonal service on top of this but this gives the combined group:
8 daily Tokyo services all up;
3 daily services from Sydney with 2 Premium services to HND and a budget service going into NRT to connect to Jetstar Japan;
2 daily services from Melbourne.
3 daily services out of Queensland all going to NRT.
QF would also need the 789 on SYD-HND given the A330 doesn't have Premium Economy and they would need that in order to replace the 747's. Overall that's a pretty formidable lineup of services.
Last edited by Sydscott
on Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.