The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted interim authorisation for the Qantas and Emirates partnership first proposed in September 2012.
The partnership still remains subject to final authorisation from the ACCC, but Qantas expects the decision to be made in March.
The interim authorisation allows the two airlines to coordinate closely and enables customers to book travel on most parts of the combined Qantas/Emirates network.
Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce commented: “This decision means that we can determine pricing, capacity and scheduling with Emirates, in addition to the more logistical aspects of the partnership that we have been working through already.”
The decision includes a condition that the two airlines cannot yet coordinate on services between Australia and New Zealand, as the law of the latter does not provide interim authorisation.
The combined network is due to commence services in April.
Prior to receiving interim authorisation, coordination between Qantas and Emirates has focussed on aspects that do not require ACCC approval, including integrating IT systems, determining frequent flyer benefits and establishing an operational base for Qantas in Dubai, UAE.