ACCC approves Virgin Blue and Etihad JV

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By admin October 4, 2010 14:38

ACCC approves Virgin Blue and Etihad JV

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has approved the joint venture between Virgin Blue and Etihad to cooperate on pricing and scheduling. Qantas, whose CEO Alan Joyce stated last week that Etihad had offered the alliance to Qantas first, had opposed the alliance to the ACCC. In its submission to the ACCC, Qantas complained that Virgin and Etihad had not demonstrated the alliance was necessary and that passengers who bought tickets could suffer harm if the application was ultimately denied.

The ACCC, however, upheld the route protection plans put in place by both carriers “to manage the travel arrangements of any affected passengers”.

Nonetheless, the attack from Qantas prompted a response last week from Etihad CEO James Hogan following Joyce’s questioning of the Middle Eastern airline’s profitability and the viability of its alliance with Virgin Blue (see Aviation News archive: http://www.aviationnews-online.com/airline/etihad-defends-against-qantas-attack/).

The Etihad-Virgin Blue deal marks the first time an Australian carrier has been operating in the Middle East since 1991.

“The Virgin Blue Group of Airlines will not be able to deliver an alternative and competitive network to the Middle East, Europe, United Kingdom and beyond,” says John Borghetti, CEO and managing director of Virgin Blue. “This is an important milestone as we create a global international network, greater competition on the international landscape and benefit our guests with great value fares, better scheduling and more choice.”

admin
By admin October 4, 2010 14:38
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