Like kangaroos? Flights down under may soon cost less thanks to an open skies agreement signed by the U.S. and Australia that will smash apart the duopoly enjoyed by Qantas and United. Richard Branson’s discount Australian airline, Virgin Blue, has already submitted an application to mix things up and drive fares south. [L.A. Times]

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  1. Jonbo298 says:

    I’m glad this has happened. More competition will only help in this case.

  2. azntg says:

    Horray for some form of competition! But at the same time, expect service to tank along with the prices… (the naysayer portion of me says that)

  3. grouse says:

    It’s Qantas, not Quantas.

  4. humphrmi says:

    So now will we see commercials with a little cute koala saying “I hate Virgin Blue…”? :)

  5. AvatarZ says:

    I hope it goes down soon, I really want to go down to Australia and cheaper air would go a long way to helping out.

  6. TimsBoot says:

    Dont be so sure my dear Consumerists. This deal is more smoke screen than substance. Qantas will still dominate the route and continue to gouge. It currently charges 40% more per customer kilometre (the standard industry measure) than it does on the more competitive Sydney to London route. See my post on this called “there is no one I dont hate right now” here

  7. Tejas says:

    i hope so – as an aussie i’d love to see this go down as i would love to go to the states. there is already a low fare airline however flying from the US to australia – it only flys from Honolulu however. it’s called jetstar and is a qantas offshoot.

  8. Jamie says:

    @azntg: The service couldn’t possibly get worse. I’ve flown between the US and AU many times (I’m a dual citizen), on both Qantas and United, and the experience has universally been bad. Including trying to feed my peanut-allergic son peanuts when we weren’t looking, when there was supposed to be a three-row ‘no nut’ zone, and then failing to have nut-free meals for him. Two kids, 17 hours on a plane, no food. x.x

  9. sue_me says:

    While we’re at it, let’s start allowing foreign airlines to fly domestic routes. And then we can watch the legacy airlines dry up and blow away.

  10. jamar0303 says:

    @sue_me: YES!

  11. Ubermann says:

    They need to start Virgin Canada.

    The prices of flights to Montreal from LAX are criminal during the summer. I not even going to start on intra-canadian flights

  12. Kurtz says:

    Fly Air New Zealand instead. Cheaper fares, better service, rugby players handing out candy (at least on the flight I was on).

  13. Crymson_77 says:

    I would love to be able to fly to Aussieland without forking over $2k per person!