The Competitive Outlook For Australasian Aviation
A series of record breaking profits for Australasia’s two largest airlines, Qantas and Air New Zealand, has cemented the sustainability of their models and endorsed their strategies in the marketplace. Each is greatly helped by their domination of their domestic markets, but in their different ways have adapted to highly competitive market conditions to maintain profitability there too.
Unlike some protectionist-supported airlines, this has been achieved with the most open market policies in the world (despite a recent aberration in the Australian market). Virgin Australia is yet to revive its fortunes but remains well entrenched in the Australian market; its multiple major airline investors offer both support and hindrance.
The South Pacific airline market is poised for a major transformation as several of the region’s flag carriers pursue fleet expansion, supporting tourism aspirations but also intensifying competition to potentially unsustainable levels.
In 2019, a key change in allegiances will influence the domestic and regional markets as Air New Zealand switches its partnership away from Virgin Australia to the much bigger Qantas, creating a formidable force in the Australasian market. In the Pacific too, Fiji Airways is performing well, though the Fijian government has to wrestle with the commercial conflict between supporting its airport and flag carrier with a restrictive access regime, while seeking to stimulate its major industry, inbound tourism. Tourism may be the loser.
Moderator: CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison
- Association of South Pacific Airlines, Chief Executive Officer/Secretary General, George Faktaufon
- Nauru Airlines, Chairman, Trevor Jensen
- Regional Express, Deputy Chairman, John Sharp
- Sydney Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Culbert