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Interim approval granted for Qantas-Emirates alliance

Aircraft, Flight, Transportation Emirates
Qantas and Emirates' existing five-year authorisation is due to expire at the end of March

Australia’s competition regulator has granted interim approval for Qantas Airways and Dubai’s Emirates to continue their passenger and cargo transport alliance.

Qantas and Emirates’ existing deal, which was granted in 2018, is set to expire on March 31, 2023, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement.

Under the current agreement, both airlines can coordinate their operations across their respective networks, covering routes between Australia and UK/Europe, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

“The parties have made a new application for authorisation so they can continue their operational coordination for another five years after the existing authorisation expires,” the statement added.

The interim approval starts immediately, said ACCC commissioner Anna Brakey.

The commission may review the interim approval at any time and its interim authorisation decision does not indicate whether final authorisation will be granted, the statement said.

In a statement issued in 2018 after ACCC endorsed their original partnership, Emirates said that the continuation of the joint business would deliver expanded services, greater schedule choice and increased frequent flyer benefits.

India on Tuesday resisted calls from both Dubai and Kuwait to increase their national airlines’ flights to the subcontinent’s fast-growing aviation market.

The country wants its own domestic airlines to offer non-stop long-haul flights rather than increasing air traffic from Emirates and Jazeera Airways, its civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told Reuters.

The UAE has urged India to increase the maximum number of seats between the two countries by 50,000 per week (from about 65,000 per week).