The ACCC has granted interim authorisation to enable Qantas Airways Ltd, Emirates and their related entities to continue coordinating their passenger and cargo transport operations while the ACCC assesses their substantive application for authorisation.

Qantas and Emirates have an existing authorisation granted in 2018 that will expire on 31 March 2023. Under the existing authorisation Qantas and Emirates can coordinate their operations across their respective networks, covering routes between Australia and UK/Europe, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The parties have made a new application for authorisation so they can continue their operational coordination for another five years after the existing authorisation expires.

“The interim authorisation commences immediately and allows the parties to continue coordinating their operations while the ACCC considers and evaluates the merits of the substantive application for authorisation,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“The ACCC may review the interim authorisation at any time and its interim authorisation decision should not be taken to be indicative of whether or not final authorisation will be granted.”

Further information and a copy of the interim authorisation decision are available on the ACCC’s public register at Qantas Airways Limited and Emirates.

Notes to editors

ACCC authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2020 (CCA).

Section 91 of the CCA allows the ACCC to grant interim authorisation when it considers it is appropriate. This allows the parties to engage in the proposed conduct while the ACCC is considering the merits of the substantive application.

The ACCC may review a decision on interim authorisation at any time, including in response to feedback raised following interim authorisation.

Broadly, the ACCC may grant authorisation when it is satisfied that the likely public benefit from the conduct outweighs any likely public detriment