V Australia in their opening up of the Pacific Routes from a monopoly which will have the greatest impact on Australian Aviation since Virgin Blue created the lower prices that stayed around for more than a few months (Impulse, Compass) , and will give Tourism Australia finally a reason to smile, Protectionism of this immensely profitable route will be a real head holding time for Qantas at Mascot, but the reality is Qantas has been a real thorn in the side of Australian Tourism in its approach of profitability on the Pacific Routes both ways, and shows that overly protecting a national Icon can really hurt the the very thing it upholds.
I was far more expensive to fly to Los Angeles and San Francisco than to go to London or Paris, with these gateway costs so high, a return fare to New York was astronomical, it was cheaper to get a around the world ticket than have a return fare to NYC, or fly to London and go across the Atlantic then return was the same price, in other words it was ridiculous.
Qantas has held the country to ransom and knew what it was doing, and the Politicians in Canberra are to take most of the blame in letting the Airline do so. Tourism Australia should have also banged it’s drum far louder than it did and showed more in its mettle in doing what was right and not what monopoly’s can get away with, but Australia has a history of such head in the sand approach, its Two Airline agreement reigned for years until it was finally buried.. again to the benefit of Qantas but not so to Ansett which went south, but since the demise of the policy the local Australian Aviation has thrived like no other with excellent LCC carriers and good fares, And Qantas even benefited too as Jetstar has been a success they could only dream of..
So why get in such a lava over all of this, well not only did Australians pay way over barrier than what they should like in the Two Airline Policy days, but In that it also made Australia a very expensive country to visit, it is far enough away from prime travel markets as it is, but this was keeping arrivals at far lower levels than they should have been and certainly for years and years this has cost Australian Tourism millions and millions in lost revenue to give Qantas a few extra bucks in the bank, in fact Qantas should apologise for its behaviour and give the Australian Traveller a better deal to make up for all its callousness and greed.
Qantas finally only when forced has the Airline has finally dropped its prices from Aus$ 2000 + to around $1200.00 return to counter V Australia’s prices to date of average $1199.00,(both include taxes) that is in some cases a $850.00 drop (or Profit which ever way you look at it), that is a big drop by any Airline standards, but the benefits for the country will now certainly be apparent, but is it a little too late, today with the economic crisis going at full speed the Americans don’t anymore have the spare cash to pop downunder, one benefit though is the exchange rate is well balanced in the USofA’s favour making Australia an excellent value destination, and it almost always tops the most “I want to go there” lists, But for Australians its a bugger of a bad deal, offset only by the cheaper fare.
Qantas has another problem is the 777’s V Australia is using is very competitive on the routes, only the newly minted A380 Airbus’s came just in time to save the day in efficiency and high load factors, Virgin’s product is usually very good too, there are always accolades on their service and the niceys they throw around, if Qantas only had their 747.400’s still running the line, Qantas would have had a small disaster on their hands, old equipment, old service, expensive to run over the same distance, the Airline would have lost money on every takeoff from Mascot if they had matched the new prices, the only saving grace would have been lower fuel costs, but even that would have helped V Australia more than Qantas..
LA – Sydney is first on the 27th February, Followed by LA-Brisbane April 8th, LA-Melbourne Follows in September, worse for Qantas is the Sydney – Johannesburg SA routes have also been applied for, another cash cow gone, so is all of this fair to Qantas?
The answer is no, they should have rationalised the routes years ago, they have to do it now because they simply have too, if the fares had been fair there would have been no competition needed to show the discrepancy of the high fares people have been paying, Qantas will of course state this or that reason of why the fare were slated so high, but the real reason is two fold, inefficient equipment and good profit, now they will be well behind the ball mostly on the Aus-SA route, with the Boeing 787 coming in sometime in the never never.
There is no doubt it will be a tough year for the boys at Mascot, but for everyone else and mostly for the country it should give V Australia a helping hand in doing something Qantas should have done years ago, give the country and its tourism industry a fair go price wise to one of the worlds largest travel markets, so …good onya mate!