THE carrier responded to the consumer watchdog’s latest hold-up by suggesting such long timelines in making decisions will ultimately lead to an erosion of confidence in the process.
“Qantas is a firm believer in regulation and due process, and has cooperated fully with information requests from the ACCC, but also believes such regulation needs to be timely and efficient to maintain confidence in the process,” the airline said.
“[The airline] has been clear about its intention to fully acquire Alliance since it took a 19% stake in the charter services operator in February 2019. The ACCC took three years to investigate that minority holding and made no findings that it lessened competition. The Commission has also had the benefit of over two years of closely monitoring the domestic aviation industry,” Qantas added.
The carrier also fumed that the decision has now become one of the longest processes for informal clearance in recent aviation history, pointing out that Rex’s acquisition of National Jet Express from Cobham took only 11 days to obtain clearance.
The latest timeline pushes a decision by the ACCC on the full acquisition to 20 March 2023, 10 months since Qantas and Alliance filed their application.
MEANWHILE Qantas Frequent Flyers can now book Classic Flight Reward seats to more than 20 destinations across Thailand and South East Asia as part of a new partnership with Bangkok Airways.
Travellers can access Bangkok Airways flights from Australia via Bangkok, Phuket and Singapore.
“Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for our frequent flyers and this partnership will make it easier for them to explore more of the region using their points and the option to book reward seats on Bangkok Airways’ expansive network across Thailand and South East Asia will also open up thousands of new redemption opportunities,” Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said.