21 November 2008

ACCC draft decision rejects Air Canada/Air New Zealand commercial alliance

On 20 November 2008 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that it had reached a draft determination to reject an application from Air Canada and Air New Zealand to enter into a cooperation agreement for services between Australasia and North America that would involve revenue pooling. Qantas and Singapore Airlines made submissions on the application.

On 21 November 2008 The Australian carried a report by Steve Creedy on the draft determination and BusinessDay reported NEW a response from Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand makes an interesting point about past ACCC approvals of the arrangements between Qantas and South African Airways on the Australia-South Africa route. It is also notable that by not fully liberalising its air services arrangements with countries such as Singapore and Canada, the Australian Government has blocked entry by potential competitors into the Australia-mainland USA market. It would seem that this has been deliberately done to protect the launch of V Australia into this market. However, a submission from the Australian Department of Infrastructure notes that Australia intends to enter into air services negotiations with Canada "in the near future."

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