The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined Australian flag carrier, Qantas up to $125,000 for violating rules that protect domestic Airlines.
Qantas fly passengers on its daily Boeing 747 flight from New York to Los Angeles, and then transfer them to other Qantas flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Many countries, including the United States, prohibit ‘cabotage’, or the practice of a foreign-controlled airline selling tickets on purely domestic flights. The laws are designed to protect domestic carriers.
However, Airlines are allowed to fly passengers on the domestic route if the passengers stay on the plane to continue onto international route.
Qantas denied violating the rule, and said “We’re disappointed by the Department of Transportation’s ruling, which we believe mischaracterizes Qantas’ codeshare arrangements with other carriers operating to and from the U.S., as well as the cabotage rules between the two countries,”
Though it denied wrong doing, under consent agreement with DOT, Qantas agreed to halt the practices cited and pay $62,500 within one month and another $62,500 if it violates the agreement within a year.