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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The OneWorld Kangaroo Race heats up!

Air Drama: OneWorld's Kangaroo Race heats up with... Camels!
(Click image for Large Size! Artwork by: Rimanti N)

The Kangaroo Route is an elusive one to grab. One would expect that domination belongs to the empire and it's aftermath, that is, British Airways and Qantas, both OneWorld alliance founders. The truth is, that market is lead by: Star Alliance member, Singapore Airlines, who share its Singapore hub with the Qantas/BA European Ops scissor hub there; and the other leader and a major force to be reckoned with on this route is, Emirates.

Qantas' position on the Europe-Australia route continues to weaken. Only Frankfurt and London remain. Paris, Rome, etc, all gone. Emirates and Singapore Airlines compete vigorously on the London route, and have literally obliterated Qantas from the rest of Europe. The London-Sydney route, also sees competition from Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific (LHR-HKG-SYD). Emirates' domestic neighbour and rival, Etihad, had allied with Virgin Australia to give it better access to Australia quickly.

Qantas' position on the European routes seemed doomed. It can't ask for help from Cathay because Qantas' Jetstar is setting up operations in Hong Kong. Cathay would gladly help in exchange for Qantas to abort the Jetstar Hong Kong plans.

So Qantas decided to yet again do the unthinkable. Last week, in a bid to stem losses from its long-haul operations (and while not busy playing with Jetstar), they announced they're dumping British Airways, and moving their European cooperation to Emirates. You know the saying:
If you can't beat them... join them..
BUT this poses several perceived problems, especially within the OneWorld alliance.
  • Qantas plans to move its European scissor hub to Dubai. This means Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance) now have a free hand on the traditional Kangaroo route, and OneWorld now has literally nothing there!
  • Qantas will ally its European route to British Airways' big rival to Asia, Emirates, which do not belong to any alliance. This does not please British Airways.
  • Etihad and its alliance with Virgin Australia now poses problem for either Etihad or the OneWorld alliance because Etihad owns 29% of Air Berlin, OneWorld's newest member, who are suffering from losses, and is dependent on Etihad for its long term future.
  • Etihad will likely to strengthen its ties with Virgin Australia as a reaction to Qantas/Emirates, this could take focus and resources away from AirBerlin.
  • Malaysia Airlines' bid to enter OneWorld was sponsored by Qantas was based on a hope to have massive cooperation with Qantas (including entry to the alliance), and it remains eager to put Kuala Lumpur as a major alternative to Singapore as OneWorld's Kangaroo scissor hub which would greatly boost its aspirations to be a major player on the Kangaroo route. If Qantas does another upset by leaving OneWorld (unlikely, but Alan Joyce's consistency is as reliable as Michael O'Leary's good verbal gestures), Malaysia Airlines would not be able to enter OneWorld.

BUT, it doesn't look bad does it? British Airways could go with Malaysia Airlines to keep it's Kangaroo route presence, or go to Cathay and squash Virgin Atlantic's Kangaroo escapades... here comes the last piece of the mess...

  • British Airways had decided instead to talk on an alliance to handle the Asian (and Australian) routes with Qatar Airways , whose ambition is "to beat Emirates", which means it includes plans of dominating the Kangaroo route, and the world.
Confused? Well, you're not the only one. But don't let that worry you. Aussies are no stranger to camels, and British expats in the Middle East have camel riding as an initiation ritual... so, the OneWorld Kangaroo Race, has literally become a camel race!

So I invite all of you to caption the above illustration using the comment boxes below. You can caption the illustration as a whole, or caption what each person is saying (and if you can, keep it simple, clear, and understandable... unlike my writings!). I'll pick the best one and maybe give a prize or something... *no promises*

About the illustration:
I asked Rimanti N to make the Airdrama illustration. She's a 2nd year visual design student who is working on a comic about the airline industry (to which I am an industrial adviser in her project), with one of her comics already published while she was in high school. Aside from being a very good comic artist, she is also an AvGeek (something to do with her family's history). Follow her at @rimanti_n or find more about her work at:


  1. Nice illustration from Rima, I'll comment on her art page in Deviantart. BTW, who is that frustrated F/A next to Etihad's camel (with red hat)?

  2. It's the BA's FA, am i correct?