The ACCC has given Qantas the thumbs-up to continue coordination between itself, Jetstar, and its Jetstar Asia and Jetstar Japan joint ventures for another five years.
The authorisation – the third the ACCC has delivered, renewing previous decisions in 2013 and 2018 – allows the airlines to coordinate on matters such as flight scheduling, sales and marketing, and pricing. Jetstar Japan has also been allowed to coordinate with part owner Japan Air Lines in “certain circumstances”.
“We believe the coordination is likely to result in public benefits by providing consumers with a wider choice of products, enhanced services, and more convenient flight times,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.
“The conduct permitted under this authorisation is likely to result in little, if any, lessening of competition, particularly given Qantas and Jetstar offer complementary services and face competition from a number of other airlines in the region.
“We have decided to grant re-authorisation for five years, instead of the 10 years sought, given the dynamic and rapidly evolving nature of the travel industry.”
Jetstar Asia, based in Singapore, is a joint venture between Qantas and Singapore company Westbrook Investments, while Jetstar Asia, based in Narita in Chiba Prefecture, is owned largely by Qantas and Japan Air Lines.
According to the competition watchdog, the competition is permissible because Qantas is not a majority shareholder in either airline.
“The Qantas Group has established the Jetstar Asia and Jetstar Japan joint ventures because in some international jurisdictions the regulatory environment makes it difficult for airlines to wholly or majority own airlines outside their own country,” the ACCC says.
“As both involve minority Qantas shareholdings, ACCC authorisation enables coordination to continue without risk of breaching Australian competition law.”
The re-authorisation will expire in May 2028.