Cathay Pacific and Qantas are founding members of the oneworld alliance. Still, their co-operation was limited to a basic interline agreement. This was due to a history of bad-blood and rivalry between the two airlines. One can date it back to 1995, but the most recent one started in 2012.
In that year, Qantas teamed up with China Eastern to set up Jetstar Hong Kong. Jetstar is a low-cost subsidiary of Qantas. They started the procedure to get the necessary approvals to expand right in Cathay Pacific’s home. And once they took the fight to Cathay Pacific’s house, it did not end well for them. Jetstar Hong Kong didn’t take off since the Hong Kong government didn’t approve, to protect Cathay Pacific. The matter was shut in 2015, but the bad blood remained. They used to have a codeshare agreement back in the day, but that was axed when Qantas-Emirates JV took off.
But there are no permanent friends or enemies in business. It looks like they buried the hatchet along the way. Cathay Pacific and Qantas have entered into a new codeshare agreement effective October 28, 2018. Tickets go on sale from October 22, 2018. The codeshare is limited to a few routes though. It is interesting for Indian travellers.
As a part of the agreement, Qantas will place its QF code on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights to Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai. It will also cover Cathay Pacific flights from Perth, Cairns, Colombo, Danang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Yangon out of Hong Kong. So you can connect from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney on Qantas flight to Hong Kong and then on Cathay Pacific flights to India.
Similarly Cathay Pacific will put its CX code on 13 domestic Qantas flights. These routes include flights between
- Alice Springs-Sydney
- Brisbane – Townsville
On the miles front, you will earn enhanced Qantas Points and status credit if you book the codeshare flights through Qantas for eligible flights out of Hong Kong and similarly for members of Marco Polo club for eligible flights in Australia.
This is a positive step as it gives additional options. It also ties up loose ends which both the airlines have in the respective markets. This partnership will grow stronger as Qantas pushes for an expansion in Asia especially with the shifting of its Europe flights to Singapore.