Qantas lands on dotted Telstra line

An unlikely addition was made to Australia's e-commerce industry today, with airline giant Qantas announcing a comprehensive online strategy.

The two key components of the airline's online strategy are an internet alliance with Telstra and the launch of a new online business division, Qantas Ventures.

The purpose of Qantas Ventures is to "look for and develop growth opportunities that especially benefit from the internet," the airline company said in a statement issued to the Australian stock exchange yesterday.

The Qantas/Telstra co-branded internet service will enable Qantas customers to make transactions related to the Qantas Frequent Flyer loyalty program via the internet. The Qantas/Telstra project would see customers offered various co-branded mobile and wireless services, the companies said. That project would be the first offering from Qantas Ventures, the companies said.

Qantas and Telstra both predicted significant boosts in business and revenues to result from the companies' alliance.

Qantas predicted the Telstra alliance would see the airline drawing non-airline revenues of $700 million per year within three years - from a group revenue of $1 billion per year.

Telstra said it expected to draw an additional 200,000 mobile customers and an additional 200,000 internet customers as a result of the alliance.

Qantas said it would draw incremental commissions and advertising revenues in excess of $100 million per year within three years as a result of its overall e-commerce activities. Also, the airline company predicted it would reduce operating costs by $85 million per year from internet-related business.

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