Oneworld alliance partners Qantas and American Airlines have won the provisional green light for a trans-Pacific co-operation deal.
The two airlines argued to Australian competition authorities that co-operation would lead to new routes and connections between Australia and the US, with the two carriers embarking on a code-sharing network.
Qantas said that it will now pursue plans to tie-up with Malaysia Airlines and budget partner AirAsia.
The joint business agreement between Qantas and American is “likely to result in improved products and services, including improved schedules and connectivity,” the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission said in its ruling.
The approval is expected to result in new flights between Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles and a Dallas-Honolulu route.
The ACCC has previously authorised an alliance between Virgin Australia and Delta on routes between Australia and the US.
“The ACCC does not consider that the JBA [joint business agreement] will have any anti-competitive effects, as Qantas and American Airlines do not currently provide any overlapping direct services between Australia and the United States,” it said.
“The ACCC will now seek further submissions from the applicants and interested parties in relation to this draft determination prior to making a final decision.”
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