Qantas and Emirates approved to continue coordination on flights

An Emirates cargo aircraft passes a line of parked Qantas aircraft in Sydney.
G B_NZ, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted Qantas Airways Ltd and Emirates, along with their related entities, including Jetstar, the authorization to continue coordinating their passenger and cargo transport operations across their networks until 2028.

This collaboration covers routes between Australia and various global destinations, including the UK/Europe, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

A Move for Connectivity and Choice


The ACCC’s decision is founded on the belief that the continued coordination between Qantas and Emirates will ultimately benefit travelers.

Broadly speaking, the ACCC has the power to grant authorisation when it is satisfied that the likely public benefit from the conduct outweighs any likely public detriment.

By fostering connectivity between an extensive array of destinations and optimizing the opportunities for earning and redeeming loyalty rewards, the alliance aims to enhance the overall travel experience for passengers.

This partnership also intends to provide passengers on routes where Qantas and Emirates operate overlapping services with greater flexibility in terms of flight times and travel options.

This increased range of choices is poised to empower travelers and align with their diverse needs and preferences.

Photo Credit: Simon Boddy, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Balanced Approach


While the ACCC acknowledges the potential benefits of this collaboration, there are concerns regarding its impact on competition, specifically on the Sydney to Christchurch route. With Air New Zealand being the sole airline operating this route, the ACCC is cautious about potential implications on competitive dynamics.

To address this, the ACCC has set a condition for Qantas and Emirates to regularly furnish updates on passenger revenue and operating costs.

This provision enables the ACCC to closely monitor the competitive landscape on the Sydney to Christchurch route over the next five years, ensuring a balanced approach that safeguards the interests of passengers and maintains a healthy competitive environment.

Continued Collaboration


This isn’t the first time the ACCC has granted authorization for this alliance. Similar approvals were given in 2013 and 2018, albeit with conditions.

The previous 2018 authorization was set to expire on March 31, 2023. In light of the impending expiration, the ACCC granted interim authorization on March 23, 2023.

This interim measure was to allow Qantas Airways Ltd, Emirates, and their related entities to maintain their coordinated operations while the ACCC reviewed their substantive application for re-authorization.

Forward Momentum


The ACCC’s recent decision reflects a commitment to fostering a balanced aviation industry that promotes connectivity, competition, and passenger well-being.

By striking a balance between collaboration and competition, the authorization extends through 2028, enabling Qantas, Emirates, and their affiliates to continue delivering a seamless travel experience while adhering to regulatory checks and balances.

A copy of that determination is available on the ACCC public register at: Qantas Airways Ltd and Emirates.

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