Australia approves Pacific Blue, Delta code share

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Australia's International Air Services Commission (IASC) has approved Pacific Blue Australia's application for a code share deal between itself and Delta Air Lines.

"Under the arrangements with Delta, Pacific Blue Australia may only price and market its services on the route jointly with Delta as long as such practices are authorized under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, or otherwise authorized by the Australian Competition Tribunal, in the event of review by that tribunal," says the IASC.

Pacific Blue will however need approval from the commission for subsequent code share agreements.

A joint venture between Delta and the Virgin Blue Group carriers was initially proposed in July 2009. It aims to include Delta, Virgin Blue, V Australia, and Pacific Blue. Polynesian Blue is not part of the proposed arrangement.

"As part of the proposed joint venture between Pacific Blue and Delta, it is intended that Delta will offer code share services as a marketing carrier on routes operated in both directions by Pacific Blue between points in Australia and Auckland & Christchurch," wrote Pacific Blue parent Virgin Blue in its original application letter to the IASC in late 2010.

The joint venture received approval from Australian regulators in December 2009, but US regulators rejected the deal in September 2010.

Pacific Blue has informed the IASC, however, that regulatory approvals in third country markets will be taken into account by the United States in its final assessment of the joint venture application.