Qantas must convince Australian regulators of the consumer benefits that would accrue from its planned takeover of Alliance Airlines if it is to be successful, chief executive Alan Joyce has acknowledged.
Speaking at a Oneworld event in London today, Joyce said the flag carrier was now "working through next phase with the regulators", including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to convince them of the "huge" benefits that would result from the Brisbane-based regional operator joining the Qantas group.
Virgin Australia has already raised concerns over the takeover's impact on the Australian domestic market.
Joyce says he is "very comfortable" with the near-20% stake Qantas has acquired in Alliance Airlines and expects it will prove a "good investment".
He declined to specify the timeframe in which he expects regulatory approval.
Joyce notes that Qantas will also need to demonstrate the consumer benefits of its proposed codeshare with Cathay Pacific in order to gain approval for that tie-up.
"We think, again, it is to up to us to make the case to the regulator," he adds.
He highlights "lots of competition" in the "very big" China-Australia market, as new airlines enter the space.