Canberra Airport has made a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) calling for it to reconsider its draft ruling which would block the proposed trans-Tasman alliance between Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand.
In a letter dated September 24 the airport’s managing director Stephen Byron argues that the proposed alliance would not lessen competition, but instead would open up enhanced air services for passengers travelling between Australia and New Zealand. The letter also notes that Canberra Airport believes that the alliance would help to stimulate traffic and ultimately support increased tourism in Australia, which it says would “appear to outweigh any public detriment that may result from the proposed alliance being authorised.”
The submission also noted that with Virgin Blue’s threat to pull out of trans-Tasman services could threaten Canberra’s chances of attracting nonstop services to New Zealand. International services have long been a priority for the airport, particularly from 2012 when the second stage of its terminal redevelopment is completed.