American and Qantas have submitted a new joint venture application to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The move comes more than a year after the Obama administration turned down the carriers' previous effort to obtain antitrust immunity to jointly market, schedule and operate flights between the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

In a joint statement Monday, the carriers said that the joint venture would increase competition in the U.S-Australasia aviation marketplace while unlocking more than $300 million in annual consumer benefits, including discounted fares, expanded fare classes and more codesharing.

"The joint business will also give American and Qantas the opportunity to launch additional routes between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand, including new flights to city pairs currently not served by either carrier," the statement reads. "An expanded relationship will encourage significant improvements in the overall customer experience, including additional frequent flyer benefits and investments in lounges, baggage systems and other infrastructure designed to better serve the carriers' joint customers."

In blocking the American-Qantas joint venture application in November 2016, the DOT said such a partnership would be too powerful in the U.S.-Australasia marketplace and would therefore have the effect of reducing competition.

The agency blocked the American-Qantas joint venture even though it had previously granted antitrust immunity to ventures between Delta and Virgin Australia and between United and Air New Zealand.

In their application to the DOT, American and Qantas said that the rejection of the joint venture in 2016 had led them to scale back service offerings. For example, American has made its Los Angeles-Auckland service seasonal.

A rejection of this application, the airlines said, would result in American slashing their number of domestic U.S. routes that it codeshares with Qantas on from 125 to just 27.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI