SYDNEY - Agence France-PresseAustralia’s competition watchdog gave yesterday its preliminary approval yesterday to a global alliance between struggling carrier Qantas and Dubai-based Emirates, but only for five years initially.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the benefits, which will see the airlines coordinate ticket prices and flight schedules, would likely outweigh reduced competition on certain routes. A final decision will be made by March. Under the alliance, Qantas will shift its hub for European flights to Dubai from Singapore in a bid to stem losses after this year posting its first annual deficit since privatization in 1995. It also means an end to Qantas’s partnership with British Airways on the so-called kangaroo route to London, which has spanned nearly two decades.