Qantas-Emirates alliance gets final nod from Aus

Australia’s competition regulator has granted final approval to a five-year alliance between Qantas Airways and Emirates Airline
Qantas (L) and Emirates (R) aircraft are pictured on the tarmac of Sydney Airport (AFP/Getty Images).
By Claire Valdini
Wed 27 Mar 2013 09:17 AM

Australia’s competition
regulator has granted final approval to a five-year alliance between
Australia’s Qantas Airways and Emirates Airline.

The Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said its approval was conditional, providing the
carriers maintain their pre-alliance capacity on routes between Australia and
New Zealand.

The ACC said the tie up will
“provide Qantas and Emirates customers with increased access to a larger number
of existing frequencies and destinations under a single airline code, improved
connectivity and scheduling, and access to each alliance partner’s frequent
flyer programmes”.

The two carriers announced
the deal, which includes switching Qantas’ hub to Dubai from Singapore, in
September but have been waiting for final ACCC approval. The airlines have been
coordinating pricing, sales and schedules since being granted interim approval
in December.

The first flight to transit
through Dubai is expected to leave Sydney on Sunday en route to London.

The deal will see the
airlines codeshare most flights and tie up their frequent flyer programmes and
enable struggling Qantas to cut loss-making international routes and focus on
its profitable domestic and budget operations.

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