Talks on new premium airline break down

Discussions end between Qantas and Malaysia Airlines

Discussions between Qantas and Malaysia Airlines to set up a new premium airline in Asia broke down this morning. The sticking point was on the commercial terms, the Australian airline said. The news is a setback for both airlines, which are posting heavy losses.
However, Qantas may now pursue setting up a premium-carrier joint venture with another airline. Qantas’ aim is to focus on the Asia region – something it hopes will reduce its losses on international routes. The premium segment is said to be a lucrative one given the region’s rising income levels.
Competition in Asia is fierce. Major airlines there are planning to launch short-haul operations while looking ahead to 2015, when flying restrictions will be lifted between 10 ASEAN member states.

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