Demand for interstate travel can jump start airline recovery

Australia’s commercial airlines are operating at a fraction of their pre-COVID-19 capacity but there is growing optimism within the industry as demand for interstate travel increases.

The ACCC’s second Airline Competition in Australia report, released today, shows total passenger numbers for the month of September 2020 were 87 per cent lower than September last year, and airline industry revenues were commensurately lower.

Travel problems top list of COVID-19-related reports

New figures released today show COVID-19-related consumer reports make up the majority of the 109,446 complaints the ACCC received in the first ten months of this year.

The impact of COVID-19 on consumers and fair trading report reveals the pandemic’s impact on travel resulted in 24,210 complaints to the ACCC, an increase of 497 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The impact of COVID-19 on consumers and fair trading - an update on the work of the ACCC during the pandemic

This report contains observations about the key consumer and fair trading issues arising from COVID-19. It also details the activities conducted by the ACCC to assist consumers and businesses deal with the immediate impacts of the pandemic, as well as providing insights into the work being undertaken to address the long-term effects of COVID-19.

Virgin Australia and Alliance Airlines authorised to cooperate to support regional airline services

The ACCC has today granted interim authorisation to Virgin Australia and Alliance Airlines allowing them to cooperate on 41 regional routes and two short-haul international routes.

The ACCC’s preliminary view is that these arrangements are likely to result in a public benefit by assisting in the re-establishment of Virgin Australia’s national network of routes, thereby promoting competition in airline services.

Law changes needed to tackle market power

Australia must do all it can to align the interests of business and society through sound laws that address some of the more damaging consequences of market power, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said today.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra on ‘Tackling Market Power in the Covid-19 Era’, Mr Sims said it was crucial for Australia to tackle the issue of market power as it sought to recover economically from the pandemic and deal with the implications of an ever-growing digital economy.

Energy industry cooperation authorised with strict conditions

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and participants in gas and electricity markets have been authorised to cooperate on measures to secure Australia’s energy supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The authorisation granted by the ACCC today allows AEMO and energy industry participants to share essential personnel, essential inputs such as parts and equipment, and information about the operation of their facilities. They will also be permitted to co-ordinate repairs and maintenance.

Oil companies authorised to cooperate to secure fuel supplies during COVID-19

The Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP) and major oil refiners have been granted authorisation by the ACCC to continue cooperating on measures to improve the security of fuel supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic continues to impact on Australia’s fuel supply chain, causing unpredictable changes in demand for fuel and creating a potential for major disruptions to the domestic and international fuel supply chains.

Supermarkets authorised to continue cooperating on COVID-19 response

Supermarket operators will be allowed to continue cooperating to ensure supply of food and groceries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under an ACCC authorisation granted today.

Coles, Woolworths, Metcash, Aldi, and other grocery retailers whose participation is approved by the ACCC will be allowed to coordinate with each other when working with manufacturers, suppliers, and transport and logistics providers.