Monday, August 31, 2009
Jetstar, V Australia in Fiji showdown
The ability of Qantas to be nimble in countering rivals and increasing competition is again being tested with the carrier’s plan to use its Jetstar subsidiary on services to Fiji from next April.
Qantas has applied for traffic rights on the Australia-Fiji sector just days after Virgin Blue's V Australia applied for similar traffic rights.
Qantas says it wants to have an additional 1,491 seats per week on the Sydney-Nadi route to be flown seven-times-weekly by Jetstar using Airbus A321s.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Scott Rochfort said while the move is set to undermine V Australia's planned entry on the route it would deal an even more debilitating blow on Air Pacific, part-owned by Qantas.
He said the move has fuelled suspicions Qantas is looking to sell its stake in the Fijian national airline, which is 51 per cent owned by the Fijian Government.
At present, Qantas's only presence on the route is through a codeshare it operates with Air Pacific.
V Australia plans to replace some of its Virgin Blue 737 services from Sydney into Fiji using 360-seat B777-300s.