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ACCC to resume monitoring of domestic airlines

written by Jake Nelson | October 19, 2023

Planes from Virgin, Bonza and Rex lined up at Melbourne Airport. (Image: Melbourne Airport)

The ACCC will recommence monitoring the domestic aviation industry after the Albanese government extended its remit for another three years.

In a joint statement, Transport Minister Catherine King and Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the watchdog will release quarterly reports on airlines’ costs, prices and profits, complementing its role in relation to “certain airports” and helping to inform the upcoming Aviation White Paper.

Key areas the ACCC will examine include capacity, industry performance including cancellations and delays, and access for people with disabilities.

“We want a safe, sustainable and efficient aviation sector that provides a high standard of service, good prices and better consumer protections for Australians,” the Ministers said.

“A competitive airline industry helps to put downward pressure on prices and deliver more choice for Australians facing cost-of-living pressures.


“ACCC market scrutiny will help ensure airlines compete on their merits, bring to light any inappropriate market conduct should it occur, and provide continued transparency at a time when new and expanding airlines are still trying to establish themselves.”

The resumption of ACCC aviation monitoring was one of the key recommendations from the recent Senate Select Committee on Commonwealth Bilateral Air Service Agreements, chaired by Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie.

King and Chalmers took a swipe at the previous Morrison government for what they said was an inadequate response to the ACCC’s previous monitoring regime, which ended in June, saying they have found “a better way” to restart it.

“The 12 reports under the previous government found declining service standards and higher prices but were not acted on.

“In contrast, the Albanese Government will use ACCC monitoring to help inform the Aviation White Paper which is setting the policy direction for the sector out to 2050.

“We will ensure healthy competition plays a key role in shaping the future of the sector.”

The government last month released a Green Paper to gather feedback ahead of next year’s White Paper, which will set the official policy direction for the aviation sector to 2050.

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