ACCC grants interim approval for continued Qantas-Emirates collaboration

Emirates and Qantas aircraft parked together.
G B_NZ, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

National flag carriers Qantas and Emirates have a five-year passenger and cargo transport alliance which is set to expire at the end of this month.

The Australian competition watchdog the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now granted an interim authorisation to enable Qantas Airways Ltd and Emirates to continue coordinating their passenger and cargo transport operations while the ACCC assesses their substantive application for authorisation.

“The interim authorisation commences immediately and allows the parties to continue coordinating their operations while the ACCC considers and evaluates the merits of the substantive application for authorisation,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“The ACCC may review the interim authorisation at any time and its interim authorisation decision should not be taken to be indicative of whether or not final authorisation will be granted.”

The Qantas-Emirates alliance

The Qantas and Emirates passenger and air cargo transport alliance is a partnership between the Australian airline Qantas and the Dubai-based airline Emirates that was established in 2013.

Under the alliance, Qantas and Emirates cooperate on passenger and cargo operations, including code-sharing on flights, joint sales and marketing initiatives, reciprocal lounge access, and coordinated schedules between Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa.

The partnership enables Qantas and Emirates to offer more flights, destinations, and connections to customers than either airline could provide on its own, and it also helps to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Additionally, the alliance provides access to a larger combined fleet of aircraft, which enables the airlines to offer better connectivity to customers.


The Qantas-Emirates partnership has been successful in strengthening both airlines’ positions in the highly competitive aviation industry.

It has also had a significant impact on air cargo transport, with Emirates SkyCargo and Qantas Freight collaborating to offer customers a wider range of cargo services and more connectivity across the globe.

Previous approval

The Qantas and Emirates alliance was last approved by the Australian regulator ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) in August 2017.

The ACCC reauthorized the partnership for a further five years, after reviewing the alliance’s impact on competition and the benefits it provided to customers.

In its decision, the ACCC noted that the Qantas-Emirates alliance had provided significant public benefits since its establishment in 2013, including increased passenger and cargo connections, improved scheduling options, and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.

The regulator also found that the partnership did not have a significant negative impact on competition in the aviation market.

About the ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is an independent statutory authority that was established by the Australian government to promote competition and fair trading in markets across Australia.

It plays a crucial role in promoting competition and protecting consumers in Australia.

Broadly, the ACCC may grant authorisation when it is satisfied that the likely public benefit from the conduct of operations outweighs any likely public detriment.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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