Qantas Airways is reportedly in talks with potential partners for its budget airline Jetstar to establish regional hub access in China and India to combat Virgin Blue’s deal with Etihad giving it access to the middle east.
According to the Australian, Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce in a Lowy Institute speech yesterday attacked Virgin chief John Borghetti’s plans for Virgin Blue to grow the group by forming alliances with international airlines such as Etihad and failed deals with Delta in the Unites States and Air New Zealand due to competition concerns.
Virgin Blue and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates received interim authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for its proposed strategic alliance with the Virgin Blue Group on Tuesday.
The interim approval means that from Friday 1 October Etihad Airways and Virgin Blue will offer customers a new joint global flight network, connecting passengers between Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and North America.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “The ACCC decision to grant interim approval for this strategic alliance is clearly fantastic news for both Etihad and Virgin Blue and one we welcome wholeheartedly.
“Most significantly however it is air travellers around the world who have the most to gain from the partnership. They will have instant access to a new flight network of more than 100 destinations and earn frequent flyer miles for any Etihad or Virgin Blue flight.
“We will look to expand the partnership further over time, but there can be no doubt of the positive impact this new alliance will have on the global tourism industry, especially as signs of recovery continue to emerge.”