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Competition watchdog allows Emirates to exit Singapore-Brisbane

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has given Emirates approval to end its Singapore-Brisbane service.

The CCCS says Emirates had sought to "remove its capacity commitments" for the route that the commission granted in March 2013. This was part of a wide-ranging alliance Emirates has with Qantas, which was first announced in September 2012.

At that time, both carriers made a voluntary commitment to maintain capacity on the Singapore-Melbourne and Singapore-Brisbane routes they both operate, and to increase seat capacity on either routes "under certain circumstances."

However, Emirates sought approval to end the Brisbane route in April, citing "capacity under-utilisation," declining revenue and rising costs of having to operate the Singapore-Brisbane route.

In its assessment, the CCCS found that even if Emirates were to end the Singapore-Brisbane service, seat capacity on the route "remains adequate" to meet demand for passengers ending their journey in Brisbane or Singapore.

Meanwhile, Qantas intends to maintain the Singapore-Brisbane service by providing "at least" 3,300 seats per week for the duration of its alliance with Emirates.

Cirium schedules data shows that Singapore Airlines also services Singapore-Brisbane, with four daily flights using Airbus A350-900s, both in the regional (303 seats) and long-haul (253 seats) configurations.

The CCCS also notes that as neither airlines had expressed plans to adjust the Singapore-Melbourne route, the number of seats offered remains unchanged at 8,250 per week.

"Accordingly, CCCS approves the variation of the undertaking to remove the base seat capacity commitment by Emirates in respect of the Singapore-Brisbane route, whilst Qantas maintains its commitment to provide at least 3,290 seats per week for the duration of the alliance," it says.

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