Feedback Sought on Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines Cooperation

On 30 October 2019, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines notified the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (''CCCS'') of a proposed commercial cooperation between the parties covering scheduling, pricing, and sales and marketing. The proposed commercial cooperation would extend to: (i) SilkAir and Scoot Tigerair (being wholly owned subsidiaries of Singapore Airlines); and (ii) FlyFirefly (being the sister company of Malaysia Airlines).

The parties submitted that they provide overlapping direct and indirect routes between Singapore and Malaysia but the competitive analysis should focus on overlapping direct routes:

(i) between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur; and (ii) between Singapore and Kuching.

The parties also submitted that there is unlikely to be any adverse effect on competition due to intense competition from low cost carriers, alternative modes of transportation and low barriers to entry by potential competitors.

The parties submitted that the proposed commercial cooperation would result in significant efficiencies, as well as consumer and economic benefits from enhanced service offerings, improved connectivity between the countries benefiting their aviation and tourism industries, potential scheduling benefits and time savings, and more competitive fares from the reduction of double marginalisation and better fare combinability.

The public consultation is being conducted from 27 November to 18 December 2019.

Emirates' Application to Vary Voluntary Commitment Approved

On 14 November 2019, the CCCS approved an application by Emirates to remove its capacity commitments for the Singapore-Brisbane route that were originally provided in 2013 for the approval of its alliance with Qantas Airways Ltd ("Alliance").

Emirates cited capacity under-utilisation, falling revenues and rising costs in relation to the route and its intention to withdraw from the route in support of its application.

Qantas maintains its commitment to provide at least 3,290 seats per week for the duration of the Alliance, and both Emirates and Qantas will maintain their commitment to provide a total base seat capacity of 8,246 seats per week for the Singapore-Melbourne route.