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Airports call on ACCC to approve Virgin Blue/Air New Zealand alliance

6-Oct-2010 10:16 AM

Sydney and Canberra airports called on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to overturn its preliminary decision to block Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand’s proposed trans-Tasman alliance (The Sydney Morning Herald/BusinessDay.co.nz, 06-Oct-2010). Canberra Airport stated the alliance would result in more competition, including a “competitive response” from Qantas and Jetstar on the route. It also commented that there is a “real risk” of Virgin cutting capacity or suspending operations on the route if the alliance is not approved, adding it would also postpone the introduction of international services from Canberra by Virgin. Sydney Airport CEO, Russell Balding, meanwhile stated the deal would have “no meaningful impact on competition between airlines servicing trans-Tasman routes and no … meaningful anti-competitive detriment”. The calls are despite New Zealand airports urging regulators to block the deal, as they believe it will reduce competition on the route.