Qantas gets clearance for Chinese joint venture
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Qantas and China Eastern Airlines have been given the green light to proceed with their new joint venture.
The plan, which was first announced in November 2014, will see Qantas cooperate with the Shanghai-based airline on routes between Australia and China. This will include the coordination of flight schedules, codeshare partnerships and mutual frequent flyer benefits.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now authorised the joint business for a period of five years.
“We put a strong case to the ACCC that outlined the benefits of this partnership for travellers as well as Australian tourism and trade,” said Qantas’ group CEO, Alan Joyce. “China is Australia’s most valuable inbound tourism market – projected to contribute up to AU$9 billion (US$6.6bn) annually to the Australian economy by 2020.
“The joint venture with China Eastern allows us to increase capacity between the two countries by linking to key hubs and offer connectivity to each carrier’s behind and beyond networks.”
Joyce added that by working with China Eastern, Qantas will be able to maximise its presence in China and open up new routes between Australia and Shanghai.
China Eastern’s chairman, Liu Shaoyong, said he was “very happy with the ACCC’s decision”.
“Through this partnership we are helping to generate more tourism and trade opportunities with Australia and provide more convenient travel options for the many customers who travel between our two countries,” Liu said.
The two airlines currently have codeshare agreements covering 17 weekly flights between Australia and mainland China, as well as a number of onward domestic routes in both countries.
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