Qantas, American in new alliance

DALLAS-FT. WORTH and SYDNEY (HawaiiNewsNow) - American Airlines and Qantas Airways have announced a new alliance to coordinate flights between the United States and Australia.

The venture, which goes far beyond existing code shares by the two carriers, is designed to divvy up routes so that each flies fuller, driving traffic to its partner.

Portions of the alliance will need regulatory approval in Canberra, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

In Australia, news coverage focused on Qantas's decision to let American serve the San Francisco-Sydney corridor for both carriers while Qantas launches service to American's headquarters hub at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport.

"Qantas ditches San Francisco for Dallas," one headline read.

In Texas, the news has been played as a coup for DFW. The Dallas Morning News quoted the airport chief executive as saying DFW had been pursuing Qantas service for 10 years, and won it in part by agreeing to substantial rebates on landing fees.

The alliance comes at a time when Qantas' closest rival, Virgin Blue, is building a close alliance with America's rival Delta.

Just days earlier, American and Japan Airlines announced formation of a joint venture to operate their transpacific routes. All-Nippon Airways is working on a similar joint venture with United Continental.

Hawaii routes do not yet appear directly affected.

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