ASX filings this morning show that Qantas will cut about 1000 unspecified jobs with the early retirement of some 747s, is deferring six A380 orders but adding up to 110 A320s including up to 78 A320NEO versions and will launch an Asia premium carrier and a part owned Jetstar Japan franchise.
The statements say the name and location of the single aisle A320 based Asia premium carrier will be announced later. This carrier will be a joint venture with an Asia based partner and will initially use 11 A320 jets.
In a speech pre-release Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says that 82 out of 100 Australians choose to fly any airline other than Qantas on international routes and that Qantas will become more than just an international carrier based in Australia.
Cutting through the clutter, this section of the filings summarises many of the material changes, although it is understood that there is substantially more to be announced in coming days and weeks.
Qantas will also shift its South America flights from Buenos Aires to Santiago from next April to use oneworld partner LAN Chile to turn it into its gateway to the continent and change its joint services agreement with British Airways to give Sydney and Melbourne daily A380 flights to London via Singapore.
However Qantas will drop its Bangkok-London and Hong Kong-London flights, handing them over to British Airways, and will not use all of its London Heathrow slots, storing them for future growth. (How this would work wasn’t explained but it appears to reduce markedly the opportunity of Australians to fly all the way to London on Qantas aircraft.)
It would also strengthen the relationship Qantas has with American Airlines, particularly over Dallas Fort Worth. (Joyce did not refer to a claim in a Macquarie Bank note on Qantas issued on Monday that says the airline might cancel its current A330 flights from Auckland to Los Angeles and on to New York in favor of American flying the Los Angeles/Auckland route).
The speech also left unanswered questions about the future of Qantas flights to Frankfurt.
Joyce confirmed the establishment of a part owned Jetstar Japan franchise in association with Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi.
He also referred to the establishment of a new hub in Asia, in conjunction with whichever location and partner is finalised for the Asia based medium called premium carrier. This hub would also provide further access between Australia and Europe, Joyce said, which means clearly handing them over to the Asia based long haul carrier that will be its JV partner in the Asia based premium carrier.
(This is being widely anticipated to be Malaysia Airlines, which itself has forged a much closer relationship with AirAsia, the Asian low cost giant that has a strategic relationship, of sorts, with Qantas subsidiary Jetstar.)