Description of Conduct

On 17 November 2023, Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd on behalf of itself and its related bodies corporate, Virgin Australia International Airlines Pty Ltd and its related bodies corporate (collectively, Virgin Australia) and Air New Zealand Limited (Air New Zealand) (together, the Applicants) lodged an application for authorisation to authorisation in respect of a unilateral trans-Tasman code share arrangement for a period of 5 years.

Specifically, the Applicants sought authorisation for the following conduct:

  • A unilateral codeshare arrangement involving Virgin Australia placing its code on a free sale basis (i.e. VA) on Air New Zealand operated trans-Tasman services, on routes where Virgin Australia does not operate. The codeshare rights are provided on the condition that Air New Zealand specifies the public fares at which Virgin Australia may market and resupply those itineraries.
  • Related arrangements regarding fare rules and conditions, extension of Virgin Australia’s loyalty program to include these codeshare services, Virgin Australia customer access to Air New Zealand international lounges, and reciprocal staff travel.
  • The joint identification and targeting of corporate and SME customers with discounts and other offers for trans-Tasman itineraries involving only VA coded Air New Zealand operated trans-Tasman services (e.g. SYD-AKL), and trans-Tasman itineraries that include connecting Australian domestic services operated by Virgin Australia as well as VA coded Air New Zealand operated trans-Tasman services (e.g. CBR-SYD-AKL).

Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand also sought interim authorisation to allow the necessary planning, discussions and coordination, as well as forward selling of services.

On 1 May 2024, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation for a period of 5 years. The ACCC also decided to grant interim authorisation to the Applicants for the proposed conduct, except that interim authorisation does not extend to the direct or indirect marketing, provision of offers or sale of fares to customers (including corporate and SME customers).

On 6 June 2024, the ACCC issued a final determination granting authorisation for a period of 5 years, until 30 June 2029.

Applicant(s)

  • VIRGIN AUSTRALIA AIRLINES PTY LTD
  • VIRGIN AUSTRALIA INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES PTY LTD
  • AIR NEW ZEALAND LIMITED

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000653-1