Qantas has successfully trademarked the name "RedQ" in an expedited application to IP Australia, suggesting it may be soon to unveil its new premium Asian-based airline.
It also trademarked "RedQ Executive Flyer" as a name associated with a loyalty scheme.
Although a Dallas company has held a trademark for "RedQ" associated with pressure valves since the early 2000s, the ownership of the "RedQ.com" domain name has recently been transferred to an Australian intellectual property lawyer. Until recently, the site was owned by a firm providing outsourced customer service solutions.
The Australian equivalent domain name, RedQ.com.au, was also registered a week ago by the same lawyer.
However, Qantas does not appear to have registered the RedQ trademark in Malaysia or Singapore -- the two locations most likely to form the base of the premium airline.
The airline appears to be hedging its bets on naming the new offshoot, also registering RedSky and OneAsia.
Qantas' premium asian airline will be targeted specifically at the affluent Chinese market, and will fly in and out of Australia as well as to destinations inside Asia.
The new airline, which will only be 49% owned by Qantas to skirt around Asian air traffic regulations, will use 11 Airbus A320 aircraft -- eight new ones and three moved over from the existing Qantas fleet.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the new airline will have a new look and feel, separate from Qantas.
"It will leverage Qantas know-how, making the most of our excellence in brand, safety, aviation, marketing, finance and corporate customer relationships.
"For the first time in our history, Qantas intends to fully participate in the benefits of an Asian hub."
"We will offer same-day services to and within Asia -- and overall frequencies from Australia to Asia will grow."
He said the new airline would not result in Qantas scaling back its own flight operations to Asia, saying it was a growth strategy and flights by the new airline would operate in complement to Qantas' existing routes.