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

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