26 Dec 2012

Qantas, Emirates still keen on alliance

9:50 am on 26 December 2012

Qantas and Emirates have again applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for interim authorisation of a proposed alliance.

Qantas says it is suffering financial harm while the proposal awaits final approval.

AAP reports approval would allow the two carriers to begin work on areas such as sales and pricing strategies, marketing, integration of IT systems and scheduling.

in a letter to the ACCC dated 20 December, Qantas legal head Anna Pritchard said Qantas had suffered significant financial harm since the proposed alliance was announced in August and would continue to do so until a final decision was delivered.

"While the arrangements remain subject to regulatory approval, there is a perception within the market that Qantas flights cannot be booked with any certainty," Ms Pritchard said.

She said interim authorisation would "mean that Qantas and Emirates can act quickly to restore consumer and trade confidence in Qantas' sales into Europe".

It would also accelerate the ability to commence joint selling and marketing to support the new Qantas operations into Dubai.

The ACCC said in a draft ruling on 20 December that it was likely to approve the partnership for five years, with a final decision expected in March.

Qantas shares closed 0.5 cent higher at $A1.465.