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Australian watchdog allows Virgin carriers to deepen ties

The Australian competition watchdog has given its official approval for Virgin Australia to co-operate with Virgin Atlantic on flights between Australia and the UK and Ireland, via Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

The determination is in place until 30 November 2024 and allows for other future connecting points.

“The arrangements which have been authorised will not lessen competition on any route, and are likely to provide public benefits, including through improved scheduling and enhanced loyalty program benefits,” says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commissioner, Stephen Ridgeway.

Virgin Australia expects that the co-operation will increase its passenger numbers, making its Hong Kong service more sustainable, says the ACCC.

It adds that both airlines can now coordinate on a wide range of matters, including jointly managing prices, inventory, and marketing strategies, all of which are not permitted under existing codeshare and loyalty arrangements.

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