UPDATE | Qantas has now confirmed it has shelved plans for the Asian-based premium airline – click here for full details.
Previous | Despite speculation that Qantas may ground its ‘Red Q’ Asian-based premium offshoot before it even launches, and potential Red Q partner Malaysia Airline’s own plans for a similar premium airline, Qantas says it’s still keen to launch the airline which some wags have tagged ‘Qantasia’.
In fact, the Red Roo believes its medium-range Red Q (which may also be branded OneAsia) will complement the regional routes which MAS has earmarked for its own top-shelf carrier.
The Malaysia Airlines offshoot will focus on destinations within four hours of Kuala Lumpur, whereas Red Q – which is tipped to use KL as its base – would run flights from Australia and other destinations further afield as well as within Asia. That still leaves plenty of scope for crossover into destinations such as Singapore, Jakarta, Vietnam, Bangkok and China.
Both the Qantas and MAS spin-offs will primarily target the business travel market rather than the leisure sector, which is drawn more to low-cost carriers such as Jetstar Asia and the forthcoming Scoot.
According to a report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, Qantas “is targeting early February as the deadline for unveiling detailed plans for a new airline to be based in Kuala Lumpur as part of a joint venture with Malaysia Airlines.”
“However, it is believed that if a suitable outcome is not reached by then, the likelihood of any deal proceeding is minimal” suggests SMH journalist Matt O’Sullivan.
Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth told the paper that “discussions are continuing with relevant parties about the establishment of a premium carrier. Qantas remains very much committed to this."
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.