- The Australian competition regulator will consider allowing Rex airlines to continue coordinating with Qantas and Virgin on 10 regional flight routes.
- It comes as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the travel industry and resulted in “exceptionally low demand” for flights.
- Under the proposed authorisation, the ACCC will allow the airlines to coordinate on flight routes until June 30, 2021.
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will consider allowing Regional Express to continue coordinating with Qantas and Virgin on regional flight routes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a proposed authorisation the regulator released on Thursday, Rex will be allowed to keep coordinating with fellow airlines Virgin and Qantas on 10 regional routes across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. These include the Sydney to Wagga, Adelaide to Port Lincoln and Cairns to Townsville flights involving Qantas and Rex.
The proposed authorisation will broadly come under the same terms of the interim authorisation the ACCC approved in March, where it allowed the three airlines to coordinate flight schedules and agree to share revenue on them. This latest authorisation proposal would continue this cooperation until June 30 2021.
ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said in a statement airlines are experiencing “exceptionally low demand” during the pandemic.
“Allowing the airlines to coordinate in this way will contribute to the ongoing provision of services for passengers flying on these 10 regional routes,” he said.
This coordination could mean each carrier on a route would operate one daily service and then share the revenue between the airlines. Or it could mean one airline would suspend operation on a route to allow another airline to operate a service.