Qantas looks set to get the go ahead from the competition watchdog to continue its trans-Pacific alliance with American Airlines for another five years.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says the airlines’ co-operation on things including sales, freight, pricing and frequent flyer programs will benefit customers such as through more frequent services, better scheduling and increased competition.
American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, has already announced it will start direct daily flights between Sydney and Los Angeles in December, after a gap of nearly two decades, as part of a broadening alliance.
“The ACCC considers that the alliance is unlikely to result in any significant public detriment, largely because the ACCC accepts that American Airlines would be unlikely to introduce its own trans-Pacific services in the absence of its alliance with Qantas,” ACCC commissioner Jill Walker said in a statement on Friday.
Qantas welcomed the draft determination of its enhanced partnership with AA, highlighting its direct Sydney-San Francisco services which launch next month as another result of the deal.
“The strengthened partnership between the two carriers provides customers with more options, expanded destinations, a more coordinated network, and world-class travel experiences between Australia and the US,” a Qantas spokesperson said.