Qantas and Emirates have welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) draft determination that proposes to grant authorisation for their partnership for five years.
The partnership will provide customers with a seamless international and Australian network, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and world class travel experiences.
ACCC approval is required for Emirates and Qantas to coordinate on pricing, sales and capacity.
The ACCC has issued a draft determination with a final decision due in March 2013. The implementation of the partnership remains subject to the ACCC’s final determination and regulatory approval in other jurisdictions.
Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce, said the ACCC’s draft determination was an important step towards delivering a better travel experience for millions of customers.
“We put a strong case to the ACCC that outlined the benefits of this partnership, both for travellers and for Australian tourism,” said Mr Joyce.
“Our customer research has shown very strong support for the Qantas and Emirates partnership, particularly in terms of increasing one-stop access to Europe, cutting travel time and offering frequent flyer benefits.
“We will now focus on responding to the issue raised by the ACCC in relation to the trans-Tasman as we move to securing final approval of this landmark partnership,” added Mr Joyce.
President of Emirates Tim Clark said that the positive response from its customers had been matched with enthusiasm from the local tourism sector.
“The feedback since the Emirates and Qantas partnership was announced has been positive and reinforces what a strong match the two brands are for each other,” said Mr Clark.
“Australia is one of the top three destinations in the Emirates network, popular for our business and leisure travellers alike.
“The partnership with Qantas means we can add regional destinations like the Gold Coast and Hobart to the growing list of places we offer Emirates customers worldwide,” added Mr Clark.
Since announcing the proposed partnership in September, Emirates and Qantas have started initial preparations that do not require regulatory approval, including connecting IT systems, designing frequent flyer benefits and establishing an operational base for Qantas in Dubai.
Submissions to the ACCC made in support of the Qantas-Emirates partnership included the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the Victorian and Queensland state governments, Australian Tourism Export Council and the National Tourism Alliance. A final decision is expected from the ACCC in March 2013. The partnership is scheduled to start in April 2013.