Qantas - airline information
Qantas's slogan is one of the most pleasantly light-sounding ones, "Qantas - The Spirit Of Australia". Indeed, the airline can be considered so, due to its top position in the area. It is Australia's largest airline and also one of the biggest ones in the World.
With its huge white kangaroo logo on the red field, Qantas airplanes are easily recognizable at any airport. And, you will see many "kangaroo jets" around the World's major airports.
The airline's name comes from the words "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services".
The company emerged from small single airplane airline, created back in the 1920s, initially carrying only cargo. After offering passenger trips, they produced several DH-50 and DH-9 airplanes under license for own use, then the sales went high. Qantas has grown to a highly important regional carrier after the Second World War.
The appearance of jet aircraft has brought new, more modern, longer range airplanes. Qantas started spreading its "tentacles" across the globe.
Today, Qantas is considered to be the World's 11th most powerful airline, a highly profitable one, but it faces difficulties when competing with low cost carriers, such as the Brisbane-based Virgin Blue. These carriers are increasing their services offered, while they're still trying to maintain low operational costs.
Qantas doesn't have a major Australian competitor, since Ansett Australia has went bankrupt.
the only threats it faces are from low cost airlines and external carriers on major international rules (such as Thai Airways or Singapore Airlines).
Qantas flies to 180 places around the World, primarily serving Australia, Oceania, the Pacific area and Eastern Asia.
The airline is part of the One World Alliance, which means that you get access to well over 700 destinations when flying with any of the member carriers.
Qantas has a huge fleet of over 130 planes and over 70 orders.
Qantas has shown interest in the Airbus A380 "Super Jumbo" and in the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner". It currently operates Boeing 737s, 767s and 747s. The Airbus A380s will enter into service to change the older Boeing 747s, while the "Dreamliners" will replace the Boeing 767s.
Frequent flyer program
Qantas, due to its One World membership, has its frequent flyer loyalty program (called simply "Frequent Flyer") harmonized with the rest of its strategic partners.
The One World frequent flyer program has 3 levels for its members: Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. these are ranks based on a customer's tier status in a member carrier's frequent flyer program.
It's important to know though, that not all member carriers of this alliance have the exact same frequent flyer rules, these programs are harmonized in major issues, but can differ in certain aspects.
The traveler statuses are simply based on the frequent flyer programs of individual member airlines.
Activity & market position
Qantas primarily serves its base at Kingsford Smith International Airport, Sydney, Australia, while having other 3 hubs at Brisbane, Melbourne and Singapore.
The carrier also serves other important airports around the World (without having secondary bases or hubs constituted there). Among these places are the LAX - Los Angeles International Airport, London's Heathrow Airport, Perth Airport in Australia.
Qantas is strongly present at domestic airports in Australia, at Perth, Adelaide and the smaller Cairns and Canberra.
Wholly-owned companies & stakes at other companies
Qantas is not just a single air carrier, but one mighty company that packs multiple airlines, many wholly owned, as well as a tracking company.
Here's a list of Qantas-run airlines:
Wholly owned by Qantas, this airline is being gradually improved by the mother-company, all in terms of equipment, services provided and network of destinations.
Qantas uses Jetstar Airways to fly Australian travelers to Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Hawaii, highly popular destinations among the indigenous clients.
Operates on domestic routes within New Zealand, also wholly owned by Qantas.
This includes 3 companies: Airlink, Eastern Australia Airlines and Sunstate.
Qantas also owns 49 % of Air Pacific (based in the Fiji Islands), 50 % of Australian Air Express, a small percentage of Air New Zealand and has over 50 % of the Star Track trucking company's shares.
Partnerships & alliances
Qantas is part of the World's second largest airline Alliance, One World, along with LAN Airlines, MALÉV - Hungarian Airlines, American Airlines, JAL - Japan Airlines, British Airways and others. Some of the most important airlines are partners with Qantas.
Flying within the alliance earns offers you the possibility to cross-travel with one or the other airline, depending on your destinations. Booking is more simple than if you'd buy from a travel agency. Some airlines within the agency have code-share agreements with each other and flight transfer operations are simplified.
If you choose to fly within One World, It will also offer you the possibility to keep accumulate frequent flyer miles, regardless of the airline you fly with. Even though, the programs are different, they are harmonized.
Prices of plane tickets are also significantly smaller when travelling with carriers from the same alliance.
Qantas has code-share agreements with many airlines, most of them from outside the One World Alliance:
Air Tahiti Nui
JAL - Japan Airlines
Swiss International Air Lines
South African Airways
Current activity and perspectives for the future
Fleet growth and strategic partnerships
The airline has ordered Airbus A380 and Boeing Dreamliners to renew its fleet, which will improve its image, attracting more travelers. But, with Airbus cutting thousands of jobs and facing technical and financial difficulties, it is less likely that Qantas will obtain the so much awaited Super Jumbos starting with 2008.
It was planned to introduce all 12 Airbus A380s (options go as high as 20) until 2015, but due to the delays, Qantas has ordered 4 Airbus A330s (smaller, shorter range) aircraft to complement the gap. It was necessary measure, because the number of travelers transported by Qantas is on the rise.
The current fleet is of 131 aircraft, but the firm orders and the additional options in early 2007 have reached the number of 139.
Qantas is expected to grow in terms of passenger numbers and network, since more carriers (namely the Royal Jordanian, Hungarian carrier MALÉV and JAL from Japan) have joined the One World Alliance, enlarging the number of destinations served.
Qantas is currently looking for an aircraft that could serve the Sydney-London route without stopovers, some speculate that this could be a longer range version of the Boeing 777, however, the Australian airline did not confirm this.
Last modified/updated: May 17, 2008