ACCC Grants Interim Authorisation to Qantas & China Eastern


Qantas Airways, China Eastern and their related entities can continue coordinating their passenger and cargo transport operations following an interim authorisation from the ACCC.

Under an existing authorisation granted in 2021 Qantas and China Eastern can coordinate their operations across their respective networks, covering routes between Australia and mainland China.

The parties applied for re-authorisation to continue their operational coordination for another year after the existing authorisation expires on 31 March 2023.

“The interim authorisation commences immediately and allows Qantas and China Eastern to continue their operational coordination while the ACCC considers the merits of the substantive application for authorisation,” ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

“This interim authorisation decision should not be taken as an indication that the final authorisation will be granted.”

Further information and a copy of the interim authorisation decision are available on the ACCC’s public register at: Qantas Airways Limited and China Eastern.


ACCC authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2020 (CCA).

Section 91 of the CCA allows the ACCC to grant interim authorisation when it considers it is appropriate. This allows the parties to engage in the proposed conduct while the ACCC is considering the merits of the substantive application.

Broadly, the ACCC may grant authorisation when it is satisfied that the likely public benefit from the conduct outweighs any likely public detriment.

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