QANTAS Airways and Emirates will continue to coordinate on flights, after the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) granted authorisation for the two airlines to do so until 2028.
The coordination will cover routes between Australia and the United Kingdom/Europe, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
“We think this continual coordination will benefit travellers by facilitating connectivity between a wide range of destinations as well as optimising earning and redemption opportunities from their respective loyalty rewards programs,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.
“Passengers travelling on routes where Qantas and Emirates provide overlapping services will have greater choice of flight times and travel options.”
The allowance comes after the ACCC in June issued a draft determination proposing to grant reauthorisation, despite the Commission noting its concerns the coordination could impact competition on the Sydney to Christchurch route, as Air New Zealand is the only other airline operating between those cities.
“We have granted authorisation with a condition that Qantas and Emirates must provide regular updates on passenger revenue and operating costs to enable us to monitor competition on this route over the next five years,” Brakey said.
The ACCC previously authorised the alliance in 2013 and 2018, and in March, granted interim authorisation to enable the two to continue coordinating.
The Australian Travel Industry Association claimed at the time of the interim authorisation airlines are financially penalising intermediaries which choose to source inventory from channels that are not the carrier’s preferred path, resulting in higher costs for travellers.
Further information, including the application and the ACCC’s final determination, can be found here.