Fiji Airways is looking to expand its partnership with Qantas to include codeshared flights, but sees no value in joining any of the airline alliance familes such as oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam.
Qantas holds a 46 per cent stake in the Fijian carrier and the two airlines currently operate a basic interline agreement for bookings and baggage handling, along with frequent flyer partnership and reciprocal lounge access.
Fiji Airways CEO Stefan Pichler recently met with Qantas executives in Sydney for what he describes as "a very constructive meeting... hopefully this will lead to an enhanced partnership between Qantas and ourselves".
"They interline with us at the moment but we’d like to enhance that" Pichler told Australian Business Traveller. "What we have to do is look at the partnership, at where can we get additional benefits (and) explore the full potential of that partnership."
But while the former senior executive at Virgin Blue and V Australia chairman has warm feelings for the Flying Kangaroo, he's giving airline alliances the cold shoulder.
"I don't believe in any of these alliances" Pichler said. "I was part of a Star Alliance team in Lufthansa, it was a good solution in the '90s, but now you have to choose partnerships which fit your network (through) codeshare and interline agreements".
Having last year transformed itself from Air Pacific, Fiji Airways is now continuing its ambitious rebranding campaign with the debut of Fiji Link – a new name for the airline's domestic and regional arm currently known as Pacific Sun.
Fiji Link will take delivery of a new ATR-72 turbo-prop aircraft in May next year, Pichler says, which will allow Fiji AIrways to commence direct flights between Sydney and Suva, the island-nation's capital city by freeing up a Boeing 737-700 for this route.
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