Qantas back in favour with business travellers

By David Flynn, June 2 2014
Qantas back in favour with business travellers

Qantas seems back in favour with Australia's business travellers, firming up a 21 percent lead over rival Virgin Australia according to the latest Roy Morgan Air Travel Survey.

The poll, which tracks rolling preferences from May 2011, shows that 74 percent of domestic business travellers would consider Qantas for their next trip, while 53 percent would look first to Virgin Australia. Jetstar predictably ranks a distant third at 31 percent.

The results put Qantas back where it ranked prior to the unprecedented worldwide grounding of its fleet in late 2011.

Conversely Virgin Australia is only two points ahead of where it stood in early 2011, before the launch of its domestic business class service.

The gap between the two airlines was at its narrowest in November 2012, when Virgin rose to 59 percent as Qantas dipped to 68 percent.

However, Qantas began a somewhat bumpy recovery which pushed Virgin Australia back to the point where both airlines are back where they were three years ago.

That said, Virgin Australia seems to be chipping away at Qantas' market share in the battle for business travellers.

Roy Morgan Research says its latest survey revealed that 31 percent of those polled said their most recent flight had been with Virgin, while the same response for Qantas was down to 56 per cent.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Sep 2012

Total posts 18

Interesting stats. I'd say it has more to do with the business crowd not giving VA a go, particularly if they're going to loose some SC's off their Qantas Club membership - since I've made the switch to VA I've never looked back.

Qantas still have a bit of work to get their plane interiors, uniforms and lounges looking like they're not just catering for old white men in suits. 

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 738

>old white men in suits

Mmmm hmm. And what exactly does race have to do with anything? How can we tell the difference between a lounge designed for old white men in suits and one designed for old Asian men in suits?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Sep 2012

Total posts 18

That's a long bow, but my apologies - 'old white men' is common vernacular rather than racism.

Perhaps my meaning can been better expressed by stating 'old men in blue ties'.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654

keep digging....i love it!!! lol

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2212

What about red ties?

16 Oct 2012

Total posts 40

If my last VA business class experience is anything to go by then I'm not surprised. SYD-CNS-SYD and served exactly the same meal both in and outbound. Expect better when you're paying $900 a sector.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer VA but they need to lift their game IMO.

QFF Gold QC gold

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 56

I feel like I'm probably the only person to do this (and old fashioned perhaps) but my primary reason for flying QF is because it is an Australian owned business (well for now anyway).

The reason why I mentioned this is that if others do the same then that would tilt the figures the other way i.e if you excluded people who choose QF for the same reason and only count the ones who go by product alone.

In saying that, I have flown with QF since mid 90s and rarely, if ever, had a bad experience.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Sep 2012

Total posts 18

I switched to VA for a similar reason - but it was more to support local jobs than ownership. I had heard that QF maintenance was being done off-shore (by CX Engineers I think?), VA is contracted out to John Holland in Australia and another local mob in NZ. I can't vouch whether that's still the case, or even if it was ever true - but it's why I still keep flying with Richard. :)

Virgin Australia - Platinum

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 87

Yeah I have found that Virgin has been slipping especially their business class product whereby Qantas seems to be getting friendlier, more professional and definitely a better J class product when it comes to food.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 700

The QF/VA battle has eased back into a more relaxed duopoly play - at least until Qantas refurbishes its A330s with its next gen J seats (which should tilt the playing field again). 

VA entered the Domestic J market aggressively, with sharp pricing and easy status transfers. Qantas pushed back, matching pricing frequently (if somewhat lately), and putting on extra capacity. The capacity flooding, and sharp pricing, was always only going to be sustainable for so long, hence why things have flattened out/returned to the median somewhat.

What will be interesting to see is if there will be a return to sharp pricing (for brief periods) over the next year or so - I doubt it, but a lot depends on the economy. I think the airlines have strategically moved to product differentiation as a less costly form of one-upmanship :-)

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