Competition Heats Up... But LAX Is The Real Winner
Earlier this year, the US and Australia reached an
Open Skies aviation agreement eliminating
restrictions and allowing any US or Australian airline to establish
routes between the two countries.
Dominated for many years by Qantas Airways, the LAX-Sydney run
will likely become a hotbed of competition by summer 2009, as
passengers will have their choice of four non-stop carriers by then
-- Qantas, Delta, United, and V Australia.
In an expansion of its international services, world's largest
carrier Delta Air Lines said it will offer non-stop flights between
Los Angeles and Sydney, starting in July. In addition, Delta will
also begin non-stop service to Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 21.
Bob Cortelyou, Delta's senior vice president of network planning
said, "You will be able to get anywhere in the world on Delta."
Whether passengers are flying to destinations in Australia, South
America, or Asia, "we can funnel the whole country through LAX," he
"With Delta's vast domestic network, I can't see how this flight
wouldn't succeed," said Terry Trippler, a Minneapolis-based travel
Right off the bat, Delta announced a promotional one-way flight
fare of $499, utilizing the Boeing 777-200LR, the world's longest
But before Delta's future flights have the chance to become
reality, Qantas matched Delta's fare on flights aboard its Airbus
A380 super-jumbo jet service between LAX and Australia.
Also throwing its hat in the ring is British billionaire Richard
Branson's new airline 'V Australia' with plans to begin flying the
LAX-Sydney route in February.
"This is a market that needs somebody else in there," Trippler
said. "It's good for competition and good for travelers." It's also
good for LAX, which has felt the impact of recent air travel cuts
and the economic crisis, the Times reported.