ACCC set to grant Qantas and Emirates alliance extension

The elongation will be the second granted since it was first authorised in 2013.

THE Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is proposing to allow Qantas Airways and Emirates’ coordination to continue for five years.

The two airlines and their related entities (such as Qantas’ low-cost sister Jetstar Airways) are seeking re-authorisation to coordinate passenger operations across their respective networks, which the ACCC considers “would be likely to result in public benefits”.

The competition regulator’s Commissioner Anna Brakey said increased connectivity & convenience, and greater loyalty program benefits, would be a number of the advantages for consumers.

“The coordination will give customers greater choice of flight times and flexibility when travelling on routes where the operations of Qantas and Emirates overlap,” she said.

However, the ACCC is concerned the coordination may impact competition on the Sydney to Christchurch route, as Air New Zealand is the only other airline flying between the two cities.

“We have included a condition in the draft approval, requiring Qantas and Emirates to provide the ACCC with information so we can monitor the competitive dynamics on this route during the term of authorisation,” Brakey added.

The ACCC is now seeking submissions in response to the draft determination by 12 July before making its final decision.

It first granted authorisation for the alliance in March 2013, with the five-year extension approved in March 2018 granted interim authorisation three months ago.

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