Australian Regulator Denies Approval for Qantas-Japan Airlines Deal

Australia's competition regulator on Monday denied authorisation for Qantas Airways and Japan Airlines (JAL) to coordinate flights between the two countries, citing competition concerns as international travel is set to resume, Reuters reported. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims said the regulator was not satisfied that the public benefits of the proposed joint business agreement would outweigh harm to competition. The agreement - which would allow the airlines to coordinate fares and schedules - would make it very difficult for other airlines to operate on routes between Australia and Japan, ACCC said. Japan's ANA Holdings is the only other airline that flies non-stop between Japan and Australia. After a negative draft decision by the ACCC in May, Qantas had offered to commit to a new service between Cairns and Tokyo once demand thresholds were reached. Read more.