The International Air Services Commission (IASC) has granted approval for V Australia to codeshare on a number of Etihad services and also granted it traffic rights to operate flights to Abu Dhabi, while Etihad has received clearance to codeshare on Pacific Blue’s trans-Tasman services.
The Commission issued a number of Determinations on October 25 which have cleared the way for V Australia to operate joint services between Australia and Abu Dhabi, allowing V to start three times weekly services between Sydney and Abu Dhabi from February next year. In addition, it will be able to codeshare on all Etihad services from Australia to Abu Dhabi and Thailand, while it will also be able to codeshare on Etihad services from Abu Dhabi to Bangladesh, France and Greece. In another Determination, the IASC has granted Etihad authority to codeshare on Pacific Blue’s trans-Tasman services.
In an interview with Business Spectator, Virgin Blue Group CEO John Borghetti underlined the importance of the alliance with Etihad. “That deal is very important and I think we have every hope that it will be finally approved by the ACCC, although we haven’t received [final] approval yet,” he said.
Virgin Blue and Etihad recently secured interim approval from the ACCC for their alliance, which has cleared them to start jointly marketing their services ahead of formal approval, which is expected during 2011.