Regional West Australian airline Skywest Airlines has announced a new affiliation with Qantas Airways.
Skywest, a former Ansett subsidiary, told The Age that beginning April 15, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn points and redeem award flights on Skywest’s regional network.
West Australia regional passengers on Skywest will be able to book seats and check baggage through to their final Qantas destination.
Skywest chief executive Scott Henderson told The Age the affiliation with Qantas would benefit customers and boost local tourism.
Skywest is using the time before the ultimate hook-up to check their schedules and ensure proper connections with Qantas flights.
Of course, not everyone is happy about it.
Virgin Blue’s commercial manager, David Huttner, told The Australian that the decision would create an “effective monopoly” on two shared routes to Kalgoorlie and Broome.
“Regardless of what (Qantas) says, it will become just as much of a monopoly as New Zealand will if the Qantas-Air New Zealand deal goes through,” he said.