australian aviation logo

Qantas attacks ACCC delay on clearing Alliance deal

written by Adam Thorn | October 31, 2022

An Alliance Embraer E190AR, VH-UYW, as shot by Victor Pody

Qantas faces waiting until March 2023 to find out if the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will approve its plan to purchase charter and FIFO specialist Alliance.

The airline said in a withering response that the third delay would amount to “one of the longest processes for informal clearance in recent times”.

Qantas first announced the deal in May before the ACCC in August raised concerns in its preliminary report into the takeover.

In a statement, the business said, “Qantas today expressed disappointment in the ACCC’s decision to delay its findings on the airline’s acquisition of Alliance Aviation Services for a third time.

“Qantas has been clear about its intention to fully acquire Alliance since it took a 19 per cent stake in the charter services operator in February 2019.


“The ACCC took three years to investigate that minority holding and made no findings that it lessened competition. The Commission has also had the benefit of over two years of closely monitoring the domestic aviation industry.

“The latest timeline pushes a decision by the ACCC on the full acquisition to 20 March 2023, some 10 months since Qantas and Alliance filed their application for informal merger clearance. This would make it one of the longest processes for informal clearance in recent times.

“This compares with the 11 days it took the ACCC to decide it didn’t need to conduct a public review of Rex’s acquisition of National Jet Express from Cobham in July this year.

“Qantas is a firm believer in regulation and due process and has cooperated fully with information requests from the ACCC, but also believes such regulation needs to be timely and efficient to maintain confidence in the process.”

Alliance is an aviation services company based in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns and Perth. It specialises in private charter flight services to corporate customers (such as flights for workers to mines in remote areas) as well as some regional services available to the public.

Significantly, Alliance holds a wet lease agreement with Virgin to use its smaller aircraft fleet for charter and FIFO operations.

The ACCC has raised concerns, therefore, that Qantas could either stop that deal, or increase the price, hurting competition.

This could potentially affect the routes of Brisbane-Emerald, Brisbane-Mt Isa, Brisbane-Alice Springs, Brisbane-Rockhampton, Brisbane-Newcastle and Brisbane-Gladstone.

The ACCC was originally due to file its final report on 17 November.

It comes following a breathless period for the FIFO sector as larger airlines look to invest in its more reliable services during the difficult post-pandemic recovery.

Rex has already purchased Cobham, which has been cleared by the ACCC, while Virgin faces losing its current tie up with Alliance even if Qantas’ deal doesn’t go head, following an early ACCC report.


You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Comment (1)

  • Link


    The differences between Rex Airlines & Qantas & Virgin Airlines they both have an arm with international travel too these airlines.
    Alliance shouldn’t be brought out it big enough to stand on there own 2 feet so the ACCC it right & better still Qantas withdraws it application to purchase Alliance Airlines & they go stand alone other wise history repeat itself when it was only Qantas & Ansett Airlines.
    So Qantas & Jetstar as 1 run independently, Virgin, Rex, Alliance 5 airlines the more the better for the customer & they all profitable & the customer has a choice to pick who they want to fly.
    I a firm believer in free market of choices & open competition not been controlled by a few the air ways are free for people to choice by to be dictated as it has been in the past.
    People need to start speaking with their voice & money they have the power to go who ever they chose to air with not to be dictated too who too air with.

Comments are closed.

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.