IASC denies permit for Qantas-Cathay free sale codeshare due to ‘likely public detriment’

    Australia‘s International Air Services Commission (IASC) announced (23-Jul-2019) it will not vary the determination to permit a free sale codeshare arrangement between Qantas and Cathay Pacific. The commission’s findings include:

    • The variation is likely to result in some consumer benefits, but is likely to “entrench and expand” the market position of Qantas and Cathay Pacific, to the detriment of Virgin Australia‘s competitive position and the competitive position of future entrants;
    • It is already possible for Qantas to offer a single airline code on services through Hong Kong to Australia with existing interline agreements. The marketing of complex itineraries is not dependent on the variation of the determination;
    • Without variation of the determination, Qantas can place its code on services operated by Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon to various destinations in Asia, including cities in India, Vietnam and Korea.

    IASC noted there are “limited” benefits to the public, which are “substantially outweighed by the likely public detriment that would follow from the proposed variation”.