|Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 36):|
Where are all the "experts" who doubled-down on the "AA cant fly to SYD because of the JBA and ACC" argument.
How many people actually took that stance? In the last few threads when the announcement had been hinted at the general line on the JBA, and the line that I took, was that the JBA was predicated on there being no direct competition between QF and AA at the time the application was made, and no indication to suggest that such competition would exist in the future. That's it.
|Quoting avek00 (Reply 64):|
AA was not (and legally, cannot) be limited in flying by the JV. American had cost and fleet issues that made Australia flying unviable for many years.
|Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 92):|
Common sense should've prevailed there. Can't codify targeted restriction of a single operator in an Open Skies environment.
Exactly. No agency of either the Australian or US Governments, since the entering into effect of the AU-US Open Skies treaty in February 2008, can restrict traffic between the two countries. Any Australian or American airline can operate trans-Pacific flights at whatever times they want, as often as they want, with whatever capacity they want, and to any port of entry that they want. Approval of the JBA had nothing to do with that, because the QF/AA tie-up was more than just codesharing and comprehensive interlining - it concerned whether or not allowing QF and AA to co-operate schedules, fares, FF offerings, etc, would pose a detrimental effect to competition and thus the public. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approved the JBA on the basis that QF and AA were not in competition at the time and were unlikely in the five-year span of the approval period to enter into competition, so there could not be a detriment to competition. They make specific use of the phrase "direct competition", clarifying it with an extensive footnote, and later in the Determination find that allowing QF and AA to co-ordinate schedules and routing could result in improved competition though the opening of new routes, timings, and product offerings.
Since the displacement of one QF SYD-LAX frequency allows for the reinstatement of QF SYD-SFO in competition with UA (from a regulatory perspective, regardless of how it works in the real world), it's possible that the introduction of direct QF-AA competition on SYD-LAX could be viewed more favourably by regulators.
The argument I'd always had against AA own-metal services to Australia, and I don't believe I was alone in feeling this way, was that AA have a weaker hard- and soft-product offering to QF and that an attempt to use that product as anything other than a sponge to draw cost-conscious load off QF flights would be financially troubling for AA, especially considering the cash-flow and aircraft utilisation issues they were having. Yet now they obviously feel that they're in a position to make it work, and I'm now hearing indications that AA's premium product has come along dramatically. I still can't see though, from a purely personal perspective, how their Y product, or their overall service, can stand alongside QF's. Perhaps AA are confident that the flight can stand on premium yield alone? But if they then attempt to use their Y capacity as part of a fare co-ordination arrangement with QF to undercut DL/VA or UA they could stand to take heat from the regulators.
These are similar arguments in some ways to the ones that justify QF continuing to offer LAX-JFK-LAX. For one it's a matter of prestige - continuing to show the flag in a city that's been on the QF route map for a great many years - but there's also the fact that for a lot of QF's more high-yielding customers, there's a troubling inconsistency in product stepping off an A388 or 744 in LAX and onto an AA A321 for what is by Australian standards a very long flight (SYD/MEL-PER being the closest comparison, being operated almost exclusively by A332s with complimentary meals and drinks for all passengers). And there's the FF earning disparity if you end up on an AA-coded flight.
At the end of the day I'm genuinely interested to see how it works out. I never claimed to be an expert; I just provided what I thought were reasonable arguments against the viability of AA serving Australia. I they can bring it off then more power to them - it's a great sign of AA continuing to pull-off a very hard turnaround.
|Quoting AKLDELNonstop (Reply 94):|
QF award flights can be booked on AA.com if seats are available. Though to do this, during search, you would have to select AA and OneWorld carriers.
I believe the main hurdle for AAdvantage members without AA metal to Australia was that QF wouldn't honour many forms of upgrade that AA elites would have received either automatically or upon application on an AA flight.