Qantas Airways Limited and China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited

Summary

On 31 July 2020 Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas) & China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (China Eastern Airlines) 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.

On 7 September 2020 the ACCC granted the applicants interim authorisation to engage in the conduct requested.

On 3 December 2020, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation until 31 March 2022. The ACCC is inviting submissions on the draft determination until 8 January 2021. Details on how to make a submission are included in the consultation letter below.

The draft determination, interim authorisation decision and a full copy of Qantas and China Easter Airlines’ application for authorisation are available below.

31 July 2020

Lodgement of application and supporting submission.

7 September 2020

ACCC decision regarding interim authorisation

3 December 2020

Draft determination

January 2021

Public consultation on draft determination including any conference if called.

February 2021

Final determination.

Applicant(s)

  • Qantas Airways Ltd (Frequent flyer; Holidays) (Use for all entries)
  • China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000526-1

Applications

Document title Date

Decisions

ACCC correspondence

Submissions - before draft decision

Document title Date