Qantas has welcomed a decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grant interim authorisation for the proposed Qantas and Emirates partnership.
The partnership still remains subject to final authorisation from the ACCC, a decision which is expected in March.
Chief executive of the Qantas Group, Alan Joyce, said interim authorisation would enable the two airlines to coordinate more closely and would also enable customers to book travel on most parts of the combined Qantas and Emirates network.
“This decision means we can determine pricing, capacity and scheduling with Emirates, in addition to the more logistical aspects of the partnership that we have been working through already,” said Joyce.
“For consumers, interim authorisation means we can provide details on fares and allow people to book one stop destinations on most parts of the combined Emirates and Qantas network.”
The decision includes a condition that Qantas and Emirates not yet coordinate on services between Australia and New Zealand, reflecting the fact that New Zealand law does not provide for interim authorisation.
Fares on the combined network, which would be for travel from April 2013, are expected to be available in coming weeks once discussions on pricing have taken place. These services also remain subject to regulatory approval.
Joyce said part of selling the Emirates and Qantas network would include marketing of Australian regional destinations to a wider international audience.
“Through this partnership and with interim authorisation, Emirates will now be able to market Qantas destinations like Hobart and the Gold Coast to their customers, which is a real benefit for Australian tourism,” he added.
Prior to receiving interim authorisation, coordination between Qantas and Emirates has focused on aspects of the partnership that do not require ACCC approval, including integrating IT systems, determining frequent flyer benefits and establishing an operational base for Qantas in Dubai.