Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) is reportedly considering splitting its domestic and international operations as part of a restructuring programme aimed at returning the loss-making carrier to the black.

The Sydney Morning Herald says the move could help improve the carrier's appeal after the Australian senate's recent decision to amend the country's stifling Qantas Sale Act and increase foreign ownership caps to 49% from its current limits of 25% for individual investors and 35% for foreign airlines.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says plans to resume a proposed split in the airline's businesses, which began in February with a move to separate the carrier's Air Operator's Certificates, could take six to nine months.

Australian aviation analysts propose the carrier follow the model already in place at bitter rivals, Virgin Australia, which split the ownership of its domestic and international businesses in 2012 via an in-specie distribution of shares in its international division to its holders at the time.

In order to comply with Australia's Air Navigation Act (ANA) which limits foreign ownership of Australian international airlines to 49%, Virgin Australia International (VA, Brisbane International) is an unlisted entity featuring an Australian-dominated board while domestic operator, Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane International), is almost 80% owned by the likes of Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi International), Air New Zealand (NZ, Auckland International), Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) and Richard Branson.

Among other proposed aspects of the plan, which will be officially presented alongside its full-year results next month, is the part sale of its 'Qantas Frequent Flyer' business or Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine).