Emirates-Qantas Alliance Approved by Australia’s Competition Watchdog

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approved the five-year global alliance between Emirates and Qantas, with special conditions however for flights across theTasman Sea. The two companies said that through this partnership they will provide customers with a seamless international and Australian network, frequent flyer benefits and world-class travel experiences. 

“Qantas is an Australian icon and the future of its international business is much brighter with this partnership,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas Group chief executive. “Customers are already responding very strongly to the joint network that Qantas and Emirates have built, and to the frequent flyer benefits that extend across it, with a significant increase in bookings.” 

“In particular, the alliance is likely to provide Qantas and Emirates customers with increased access to a large number of existing frequencies and destinations under a single airline code, improved connectivity and scheduling, and access to each alliance partner’s frequent flyer programs,” explained ACCC’s chairman Rod Sims. “The alliance is also likely to provide the airlines with increased flexibility to manage their fleet.” 

This favorable answer comes after a six month review process. The partnership still needs approval from the New Zealand Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee for code-sharing on flights on trans-Tasman routes. 

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The two companies applied for authorization in September last year, after they signed a partnership. Ending a 17-year relationship with British Airways, Qantas inked a 10-year deal with Emirates last fall. 

“This is a truly game-changing partnership that brings together two of the world’s best airlines and offers some of the highest quality travel experiences,” stated Emirates President Tim Clark. 

ACCC considers that there are regulations in several countries that will limit the potential damages that could result from the lack of competition. 

“The ACCC considers that the alliance is likely to result in detriments through its effect on competition in regions where Qantas and Emirates currently offer competing air passenger and cargo transport services. However, in most of these regions, the ACCC has identified competitive constraints which mean that these detriments are likely to be minimal,” Mr Sims added. 

Through this partnership, the two carriers will offer a combined total of 98 flights a week between Australia and Dubai, with Qantas continuing to operate daily services from Melbourne and Sydney through to London.





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