[2022] IASC R05

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Resolution: [2022] IASC R05
Determination: [2019] IASC 118
The Route: Japan
The Applicant:

Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas)
(ACN 009 661 901 / ABN 16 009 661 901)

Public Register: IASC/APP/202242

On 28 October 2019, the International Air Services Commission (the Commission) issued Determination [2019] IASC 118 (the Determination) allocating one frequency per day in each direction to Qantas to service the Tokyo-Haneda route.  The Determination includes several conditions including the requirement for the capacity to be utilised from no later than 29 March 2020 or from such other date approved by the Commission.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel restrictions put in place by the Australian Government in March 2020, Qantas was not able to commence the new services to and from Tokyo-Haneda as originally planned.  In light of this, upon the request of Qantas, the Commission issued Resolutions [2020] IASC R01 (17 April 2020), [2020] IASC R06 (19 June 2020), [2020] IASC R08 (7 December 2020), [2021] IASC R01 (23 March 2021) and [2021] IASC R05 (4 November 2021) extending the date of commencement for the use of the capacity.  The Commission granted these extensions recognising that the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions imposed by various countries had seriously disrupted the international operations of airlines worldwide.  

On 13 October 2022, Qantas wrote to the Commission seeking a further extension of the date for utilisation of the capacity from 30 October 2022 to 26 March 2023.  In its letter, Qantas outlined its planned operations between Australia and Japan (Tokyo-Haneda) for the Northern Winter 2022 scheduling period.  The Commission notes that by the end of Northern Winter 2022 (25 March 2023), Qantas would have only partially utilised its capacity allocation issued under the Determination, with full utilisation expected to occur in the Northern Summer 2023 scheduling season.  

As part of its application, Qantas indicated that the airline requires additional time to scale up operations due to the delayed opening of Japan’s border and the limited notice provided.  The Commission notes that the Japanese government announced on 22 September 2022 the lifting of Japan’s travel restrictions and associated passenger movement caps from 11 October 2022.  All international travellers require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to enter Japan.  The Commission considers the airline’s request reasonable and notes that the airline will require time to effectively introduce the new services in line with the return of passenger demand and market conditions.

In light of these circumstances, the Commission issues Resolution [2022] IASC R05 to provide that the capacity issued under Determination [2019] IASC 118 is to be utilised from no later than 26 March 2023, or such other date approved by the Commission.  

The Commission will continue to monitor the airline’s ability to fully utilise the capacity on the route.

Dated:   25 October 2022

Genevieve Butler - Chairperson

Jane McKeon - Commissioner