Qantas and Japan Airlines, already Oneworld partners, want to be even closer. The two airlines have filed with Australian, Japanese and New Zealand regulators for permission to operate a joint venture for travel among the three countries.
The plan would allow the airlines to coordinate pricing, schedules, sales and tourism promotion without violating anti-trust and competition laws. It would mean more opportunities for each airline to funnel passengers into partner domestic destinations and to potentially upgrade shared frequent flyer benefits.
Qantas is presently not operating its international network except for flights to New Zealand, and Australia has blocked overseas travel by its residents. However, Qantas has set July as the date it hopes to resume international flights and is also the hoped-for approval date for the new alliance.