On 3 September 2013 the ACCC issued a final determination granting conditional authorisation to Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand to continue to give effect to an Australasian Airline Alliance Agreement, an associated Code Share Agreement and related agreements contemplated by the Australasian Airline Alliance Agreement (Alliance) until 31 October 2018. The Alliance involves the coordination of their international air passenger transport operations and related services between Australia and New Zealand.
The ACCC previously granted conditional authorisation for the Alliance on 16 December 2010.
The ACCC considers that in the two years the Alliance has been in operation it has resulted in material public benefits and considers the benefits will continue in the future including: enhanced products and services such as a better schedule spread; promotion of competition on trans-Tasman routes (especially with the Qantas Group); and cost savings and efficiencies derived from joint procurement and utilisation of common resources.
After weighing the benefits against the detriments, the ACCC concluded that, subject to the ACCC’s conditions, the public benefit would outweigh the detriment to the public.
The authorisation is due to commence on 1 January 2014, following the expiration of the existing authorisation.