Airlines are bracing for an influx of domestic and international travelers as the peak holiday season approaches.
It will be the first Christmas since 2019 where Australians can travel without worrying about restrictions, new variants (for the moment) and testing.
With the skyrocketing demand, there is a lot going on in aviation.
Let’s unpack some recent developments.
Qatar CEO slams Qantas
Since COVID-19 upended the aviation industry, Australian travelers have grown accustomed to poor service, long queues and record prices.
The problem is due to lack of capacity, competition and growing demand.
More competition would undoubtedly be good for the market, but Qantas is reported to have sought to block a proposal that would allow Qatar Airways to double its access to Australian capitals.
This week, the CEO of Qatar Airways accused Qantas of putting its shareholders before its customers by trying to stop the airline from adding more flights.
Talk to Sky NewsAkbar Al Baker said Qantas was “double the price of fares for the Australian people” and said he wanted to be “the alternative” to Qantas in Australia.
“Why are we being choked for additional rights in Australia…Australia’s largest operator has reduced flights to 50% of pre-COVID levels, more than doubling the price of fares for the Australian people, to the benefit of shareholders said Mr. Al Baker.
It comes as Qatar Airways is being sued by five Australian women who claim they were forcibly removed from planes at gunpoint and forced to undergo genital exams.
In October 2020, 13 Australian women on board planes in Doha were subjected to examinations as authorities tried to locate the mother of an abandoned baby at Hamad International Airport.
The Guardian reported that the women who were examined said that they had not received any information from the authorities about why they had been forcibly interrogated and that they had not been given the opportunity to give informed consent.
Everything is fair Bonza
Budget airline Bonza’s second 737 MAX landed in Australia this week.
The newly christened Bazza will sit alongside the carrier’s other aircraft, Shazza, on the tarmac.
The airline has also registered a third MAX plane, suggesting it may be closer to getting launch approval from the regulator.
Bonza announced in October 2021 that flights on the low-cost domestic carrier would begin in early 2022.
But more than a year later, passengers have yet to board a flight.
Bonza said DT that it was working on building a fleet of eight aircraft in its first year of operation.
How can the carrier afford to expand its fleet when it has yet to generate revenue from fares? It helps to have friends with deep pockets.
Bonza is owned by Miami-based private investment firm 777 Partners, which has assets of $3 billion ($4.6 billion).
The 777 Partners hold stakes in 45 companies in aviation, sports, commerce, finance and others.
In 2021, 777 Partners recovered a fleet of 737 MAX aircraft at a good pace, giving Bonza access to new aircraft it can operate at relatively low cost.
Chair of Transport and Supply Chain Management at the University of Sydney, says Professor Rico Merkert DT that Bonza is able to use its relatively inexpensive assets to offer so-called “ultra local services”.
“What they’re trying to do is offer routes that Virgin and Qantas don’t currently serve enough, or sometimes they don’t serve them at all… so they try to provide point-to-point services to those passengers for a very cheap. tariff,” he said.
Rex signs new contract with Delta
Jet-setters bound for the United States will be able to enjoy a “simplified travel experience” after regional jetliner Rex launched a partnership with US carrier Delta Air Lines last week.
The move means Rex customers traveling within the United States can seamlessly connect between Rex’s domestic flights and Delta’s international routes.
Travelers can book flights under one booking with one baggage drop, where applicable.
Rex says passengers traveling to the United States will have easy access to 40 cities.
At this stage, the agreement between the two carriers only extends to the simplified travel experience, but Rex has not ruled out the introduction of other arrangements, such as reciprocal frequent flyer offers, at the ‘coming.
“Once our loyalty program launches, there will be a host of new opportunities as we formalize agreements with new partners,” a Rex spokesperson said. DT.
“Obviously Delta would be right in the middle of that mix.”
Choose a destination
The deal between Rex and Delta comes at an opportune time, with ABS data showing that Australia is a popular tourist destination for Americans – in August, 25,730 short-term visitors arrived from the United States.
The United States was the fourth most popular destination for Australian travelers in August, with 44,950 returning from an overseas visit to America.
And a year after international border restrictions were eased, new data from Webjet reveals that trans-Tasman travel is more popular than ever, with New Zealand destinations accounting for nearly half of all international bookings.