Qantas cleared to deepen ties with Jetstar in Asia

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Qantas has received formal authorisation from the Australian competition regulator to coordinate its services with Jetstar's Asian joint venture carriers.

The authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) follows a draft decision last year, under which it was proposed that Qantas would be granted immunity from prosecution to coordinate its intra-Asia services with Jetstar and its Asian affiliates.

"The ACCC considers that the coordination is likely to result in benefits to consumers by increasing the likelihood of additional Jetstar flights and destinations in Asia, and providing improved connections for consumers which will result in a better overall travel experience," says ACCC chairman Rod Sims.

The authorisation is valid until 31 March 2018 and covers Singapore-based Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Japan and Vietnam-based Jetstar Pacific, as well as Jetstar Hong Kong, which is scheduled to be launched in the second half of 2013.

The authorisation does not allow Qantas to coordinate its services with other airline shareholders in the joint ventures, which include Vietnam Airlines, which owns 70% of Jetstar Pacific and China Eastern Airlines, which owns 50% of Jetstar Hong Kong. Japan Airlines has a 42% stake in Jetstar Japan.