Under the deal, Qantas will place its code on China Airlines’ flights from Brisbane and Sydney to Taipei—routes that Qantas offers as a one-stop connecting service. The agreement does not apply to any routes beyond Taipei or Australian domestic routes, a Qantas official said. However, the carriers have interline agreements covering such flights.
The codeshare agreement is expected to begin Oct. 15, although it is subject to regulatory approvals.
Since cutting back its European services, Qantas’s strategy has been to increase its focus on Asia. Besides using its own flights and those of its Jetstar affiliates, Qantas has been relying on new partnerships to boost its network in this region. The carrier said the China Airlines deal will complement its commercial relationships with China Eastern and China Southern. Qantas also has a relationship with Cathay Pacific Airways through oneworld, although this relationship has become somewhat strained.
In addition, the carrier has put a high-profile bilateral alliance with Emirates in place for traffic flows to and from Europe.
Qantas executives say the airline’s traffic on connecting routes to Taipei has been growing, and offering direct service—via codesharing—will enhance this market.
The carrier already serves Taipei by connecting with other carriers at three points on its network. It has a codeshare deal with partner Jetstar Asia via Singapore, and also interlines with Cathay via Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Qantas believes the direct route will particularly appeal to business travelers who need to fly to one city and return via another—for example, flying into Taipei and returning to Australia from Singapore.
The other airline linking Taiwan and Australia directly is EVA Air, with a 3X-weekly flight between Taipei and Brisbane. Qantas previously codeshared with EVA on this service, but ended the arrangement in March 2013.