ACCC authorises aviation alliances
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued two determinations granting authorisation to an Affiliation Agreement between Emirates and Flydubai, and separately, to a Commercial Alliance between Etihad and Air Berlin.
Under the Affiliation Agreement between Emirates and Flydubai, the airlines will coordinate air passenger and air cargo services between Australia and Dubai and on 'behind and beyond' services.
"The ACCC considers that the Affiliation Agreement will result in public benefits by enabling Emirates and Flydubai to offer improved products and services to customers," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
The Commercial Alliance between Etihad and Air Berlin will coordinate on international air travel services between Germany and Australia via Abu Dhabi. The airlines have commenced codeshare operations for Air Berlin passengers flying from points in Germany through Abu Dhabi and into Australia.
"The ACCC does not consider that the Commercial Alliance will have any significant anti-competitive effects. Etihad and Air Berlin do not currently operate overlapping routes to or from Australia," Mr Sims said.
Authorisation provides immunity from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.
The ACCC granted interim authorisation in both matters on 16 May 2012 allowing the airlines to begin setting up and implementing the respective agreements.
The ACCC released draft determinations in both matters on 27 June 2012, proposing to grant authorisation in both cases, and received no submissions in response to either draft determination.
Further information, including the application, public submissions and ACCC decisions can be found on the ACCC's public register at www.accc.gov.au/AuthorisationsRegister