Qantas, Emirates global alliance takes off
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's competition watchdog on Thursday gave Qantas and Emirates Airlines permission to begin implementing their global alliance but said final approval was still pending.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which gave the carriers preliminary approval in December to combine operations for an initial five years, said that practical sales, marketing and other steps could now start.
"The ACCC is allowing Qantas and Emirates to start implementing their alliance because of the long lead time required to market and sell tickets before the commencement of long-haul services," said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
"In making its decision, the ACCC has accepted written assurances from the parties that should the ACCC ultimately decide not to allow the alliance to go ahead, the airlines will accommodate consumers' bookings."