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Australia Qantas alliance with Japan Airlines rejected by competition watchdog

05:50  13 september  2021
05:50  13 september  2021 Source:   smh.com.au

ACCC grounds Qantas' Japan flights bid

  ACCC grounds Qantas' Japan flights bid A Qantas plan which may have seen flights between Australia and Japan resume sooner than expected has been blocked due to concerns about competition.Qantas and Japan Airlines last year proposed co-operating on flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Tokyo as airlines struggled due to international coronavirus restrictions.

Australia's competition regulator on Monday definitively blocked a pricing, code-sharing and scheduling deal between Qantas and Japan Airlines , saying the arrangement would hurt consumers. The deal would have seen the two airlines coordinate on how much fares would cost, as well as flight It had earlier indicated a rejection was likely, but airlines hard-hit by pandemic travel disruptions had hoped, in vain, for a reprieve. "The agreement would likely lead to reduced competition as international travel resumes, to the detriment of passengers travelling between Australia and Japan ," the watchdog said.

executivetraveller.com - Australia's consumer watchdog has come out against a proposed joint business agreement between Qantas and Japan Airlines , saying the alliance … Qantas has pushed back its intended resumption date for international flights in the wake of Tuesday’s federal budget.But the national carrier says …


a close up of a sign: Photo shows Qantas staff and generic Qantas signage at melbourne Airport. 6th July 2020. Photo by Jason south © Jason South Photo shows Qantas staff and generic Qantas signage at melbourne Airport. 6th July 2020. Photo by Jason south

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has rejected an application from Qantas and Japan Airlines to coordinate flights because it would hamper competitors like Virgin Australia.

The competition watchdog decided the alliance would "likely lead to reduced competition" once international travel swings back into action. It would be "to the detriment of passengers" travelling between Australia and Japan and did not pass the ACCC's public benefits test.

Qantas confirms international flights will take-off from December 18

  Qantas confirms international flights will take-off from December 18 Qantas has officially confirmed Australians will be able to pack their bags for an overseas holiday from December 18. © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The country's flagship airline has provided the exact date holiday-hungry residents can book flights to popular destinations like the US, UK, Canada and Singapore. Biosecurity laws banning outbound travel without an exception will end on December 17 - the day before flights resume.

Qantas has rejected suggestions its stake in competitor Alliance Aviation may be anti- competitive , after the consumer watchdog said it is continuing investigation into the deal. Qantas on Monday said it has held the 19.9 per cent stake for 16 months and there has been no influence on competition . The watchdog is concerned about a shrinking pool of players in the industry, particularly in light of Virgin Australia entering voluntary administration in April. "The Australian aviation industry remains highly concentrated and it is crucial that competition provided by smaller airlines is maintained long-term

Australia's competition watchdog on Friday reversed a draft decision against a joint venture between Qantas and China Eastern, giving the carriers the green light to coordinate pricing and scheduling. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in March the original proposal between the airlines would harm competition . But the regulator said Friday that China Eastern had since agreed to increase the frequencies of its services between Australia and China and introduce a new route if the deal was allowed.

The two airlines carried about 85 per cent of passenger traffic between the two countries before the pandemic. They were the closest competitors on the Sydney to Tokyo route and the only airlines on the Melbourne to Tokyo route, according to the ACCC.


Video: Qantas Expects to Resume Flights From Australia to the U.S., Japan, and More by December (Travel + Leisure)

"The ACCC concluded that granting the authorisation would not only remove competition between Qantas and Japan Airlines, it would make it very difficult for other airlines to operate on routes between Australia and Japan," the regulator said in its decision.

"Virgin Australia told the ACCC that it would be more difficult to enter the Australia-Japan route if it is required to compete with Qantas and Japan Airlines acting jointly rather than as individual competing airlines."

The ACCC chose the side of longer-term benefits of competition, rather than the short-term benefits of the alliance quickly reinstating travel once border restrictions are lifted.

Japan Airlines shares are down around 34 per cent since the start of the pandemic. Qantas shares were at $7 in early 2020, dropped to $2.14 in March 2020, and were last at $5.32, down 24 per cent since before the pandemic.

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