British Airways and Qatar Airways are planning on co ordinating their services on flights between the UK. It’s a 5 year business agreement that may start as early as the second half of the year. The application to the Australian Competition and Consumer commission (ACCC) is regarding nine key routes between UK and Australia via Doha. It will take effect from May 29th 2020. The airlines will co ordinate on pricing, sales and marketing and schedules and even frequent flyer programs. While BA and Qatar have operated a joint business for many years it only currently covers UK to Doha flights and many destinations in Africa and Asia.
Operating Via Doha the application make to the ACCC highlights 9 routes. The routes exclude Sydney as it is already served by both Qatar Airways and BA.
Below are the anticipated new routes.
Melbourne – London
Melbourne – Edinburgh
Melbourne – Manchester
Adelaide – Manchester
Adelaide – London
Perth – London
Perth – Edinburgh
Perth – Manchester
Canberra – London
The coordination is likely to result in benefits to the public due to improved customer services and more convenient travel options.
If customers receive enhanced access to the frequent flyer programs and lounges of both parties this would be a huge benefit. It could also lead to fare combinability which leads to greater numbers of choices for passengers. We also may see fares go down as the competition heats up. It will certainly provide more competitive travel options by adjusting schedules to offer connections times that are more convenient. Being able to book through either website makes for a more seamless booking process.
It will also give customers more choices and options. We can choose between Emirates or Qatar, or BA- Qantas or BA- Cathay Pacific when flying between Australia and the UK.
If the application is successful it could allow the two airlines to potentially co ordinate on more than 100 routes. The plan is to jointly procure good and services programs until 2025.