Qantas for Jet Airways agreement
Melbourne, July 5 (UNI) Australian carrier Qantas has applied for a code-sharing agreement with India's leading player Jet Airways, an Australian newspaper has reported.
Qantas already has three direct weekly flights from Sydney to Mumbai but the agreement with Jet Airways would help the Australians improve both service and profits in the lucrative sector, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper wrote.
The application made with the International Air Services Commission, if successful, would enable Qantas, also known as the flying kangaroo, to jointly market Jet Airways flights from Singapore to Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai.
The Sydney newspaper has also raised possibilities that if code-sharing with India's largest publicly listed airline comes into being, Qantas may not only extend the arrangement to all of Australian capital cities but also dump its services to India.
However, Qantas head of sales and marketing Rob Gurney has ruled out such speculations, at least for the time being.
''It's an important market to Qantas and is part of our plans to expand our presence in India,'' he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
It is believed the Qantas' move to apply for code-sharing has been provoked by the competition from Singapore in the lucrative South Asian sector.
Qantas has been under pressure for a while to cut the costs due to spiraling aviation fuel prices and competition from the low-cost airlines.
A warning by the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed Qantas in June-end that full-year profit would slump 27 per cent sent its shares tumbling.
The airline said high fuel prices had added 1 billion dollars to fuel costs this year and were expected to do the same in 2006-07 forcing it to seek all the options to capture more market share in attractive sectors like India.
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