ACCC grants authorisation to Virgin Australia's mainland China and Hong Kong airline alliance

10 August, 2017

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) granted (10-Aug-2017) authorisation to coordinate airline services for five years to Virgin Australia Airlines, the HNA Aviation Group, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express Airways. The Alliance Framework Agreement may see additional airline services operate between Australia and mainland China, and Australia and Hong Kong. ACCC commissioner Roger Featherston said: "The ACCC considers the alliance will likely realise significant public benefits, primarily through supporting the introduction of new services between Australia and mainland China and Hong Kong including by Virgin... The ACCC considers that the alliance is unlikely to result in any significant public detriment as there was unlikely to have been any material overlap between direct flights operated by Virgin and any of the other airlines in the short to medium term without the alliance in place". Since the ACCC granted interim authorisation in March, Virgin has commenced services between Australia and Hong Kong. Virgin also expects to launch services between Australia and mainland China. The airlines will coordinate their international passenger transport services such as codesharing, frequent flyer programme participation, lounge access, route planning and scheduling. [more - original PR]