Australia regulator gives green signal to Qantas-Emirates deal
Qantas Airways has been given initial approval from Australia's competition watchdog for its proposed alliance with Dubai-based Emirates.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), in a draft, said it was likely to approve the partnership, albeit with conditions, when a final decision was handed down in March 2013.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline's customers were strongly supportive of the partnership and the airline had put in a strong case arguing the benefits of the deal to travellers and Australian tourism.
Qantas's link-up with Emirates involved an extensive codesharing arrangement, reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits and joint marketing, pricing and coordination on certain routes, the Herald sun reports.
The alliance was regarded as a key plank of r Joyce's plan to turn around Qantas' struggling international operations, which reported a 450 million dollars loss in 2011, the report said.
The two carriers had proposed a 10-year alliance, but ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the regulator was only prepared to approve it for five years.
Sims said the alliance was 'likely to result in material, although not substantial, benefits to Australian consumers'.
There would also be public detriments, however, Sims said, particularly on flights across the Tasman, the report said.
Joyce said the airline would focus on responding to the ACCC on the trans-Tasman issue as it sought final approval for the partnership, it added.