Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Low-Cost Alliance

Two Asia-Pacific low-cost carriers, Qantas's Jetstar and the Malaysian carrier AirAsia, have formed a non-equity alliance "to cooperate on passenger and ground handling in Australia and Asia at airports they both serve, to pool their inventories of aircraft components and spare parts, and to work toward joint procurement of engineering and maintenance supplies and services."  See Bill Lindsay, Qantas, AirAsia Form Alliance, Wall St. J., Jan. 6, 2010 (available here).  The airlines announced that their cooperative venture could be deepened in the future to include aircraft procurement and revenue sharing deals.

There is no indication in the story whether the arrangement will receive scrutiny from national competition authorities.  Last month, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission authorized a joint venture between Australia's Virgin Blue and U.S.-based Delta Air Lines to cooperate on passenger and cargo services for a five year period.  See ACCC, Determination: Applications for Authorisation Lodged by Virgin Blues Airlines Pty Ltd & Others in Respect of a Joint Venture Between the Applicants, Pub. Reg. No. C2009/1317 (Dec. 10, 2009) (available here).

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