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We have seen a number of airlines come and golately it's more going than comingbut some airlines don't even have the opportunity to take off. Last week, negotiations with potential partners stalled, forcing Qantas to scrap the idea of creating an ultra-premium airline based in Asia.
When we first talked about the airline, a concept named RedQ, the idea was to cater to the quickly growing Asian corporate market by being one the first to have all-business class airplanes hopping around major cities in the region. In its infancy, the new airline was to compete with flights from Singapore, with a proposed hub based in Kuala Lumpur. And then Malaysia Airlines agreed to join the Oneworld alliance.
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Demonstrating impressive complete disregard for the liklihood of a global financial meltdown, AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes is launching a premium Malaysian airline to run shuttles between Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore.
Dubbed Caterham Jet, the regional airline will cater to business executives rich enough to pay for ultra-premium flights but not so rich that they have access to private jets. We're presuming people like that exist, but it seems like kind of a specialized demographic. Even worse, it's the exact demographic that Qantas is already targeting with their new RedQ airline.
Global economic retraction plus niche customer base plus direct competition from Qantas equals...no way this works, right? We're quite sure they had focus groups and market studies and everything, but this just doesn't sound like the kind of thing that would work.