Qantas Airways Limited and China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited

Summary

On 31 July 2020 Qantas Airways Limited & China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited and their related bodies corporate applied for revocation of conditional authorisations A91470 and A91474 and substitution for a new authorisation for similar conduct, administered through an Extended Joint Coordination Agreement until March 2022.

The Extended Joint Coordination Agreement would permit Qantas and China Eastern Airlines to continue their alliance and coordinate on operations between Australia and mainland China beyond 31 October 2020, when authorisations A91470 and A91474 are due to expire.

The applicants have requested that the new authorisation issue without conditions requiring the maintenance or growth of flight capacity during the authorisation period (which was a condition imposed by the ACCC in authorisations A91470 and A91474) due to the current and future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The applicants submit that seeking a short term extension of the current alliance gives them the best and fastest ability to restore confidence and sustainable services to consumers and businesses of both Australia and China in the short-medium term after the COVID-19 pandemic eases, whilst also providing the certainty to plan and implement other customer benefits in the long term. The applicants current intention is to then seek a further extension of the authorisation beyond 2022 in the future.

The applicants have also sought urgent interim authorisation to facilitate the immediate planning and coordination of services that will be operated after 31 October 2020.  On 7 September 2020 the ACCC granted the applicants interim authorisation to engage in the conduct requested. A copy of the interim authorisation Statement or Reasons is available below.

The ACCC is now preparing a draft determination about the application for reauthorisation.

Indicative date

Stage in assessment process

31 July 2020

Lodgement of application and supporting submission.

7 August 2020

Public consultation process begins.

19 August 2020

Closing date for submissions on interim authorisation.

28 August 2020

Closing date for submissions from interested parties.

7 September 2020

Interim authorisation decision.

September 2020

Draft determination.

October 2020

Public consultation on draft determination including any conference if called.

November/December 2020

Final determination.

Applicant(s)

  • Qantas Airways Limited
  • China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000526-1

Applications

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Decisions

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Consultations

ACCC correspondence

Submissions - before draft decision

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