The Australian Qantas and the Chinese China Eastern Airlines withdrew their application to the Australian competition regulator which was to allow them toexpand their common activity.
The announcement comes a month after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it planned to end the long-standing partnership between the two airlines on the grounds that it would reduce competition and give both airlines a monopoly and the ability to agree to increase their fares.
“The airlines have begun a process to end joint activity over the coming weeks, which includes ending price and schedule coordination, as well as withdrawing joint marketing materials“, Qantas said in a statement. Last week, Qantas suffered another setback. Its plan to buy the charter company Alliance Aviation Services for an amount of 611 million Australian dollars (388.60 million euros) was invalidated by the ACCC.
In addition, the Australian flag carrier is at the center of a series of scandals. It is accused of breaching consumer law by selling 8,000 tickets on flights already canceled during the pandemic, leading to the abrupt resignation in early September of CEO Alan Joyce. Its management is suspected of having put pressure on the government in Canberra to prevent Qatar Airways from offering more flights to Australia. And Australia’s High Court ruled the airline broke the law by laying off 1,700 ground workers and replacing them with contractors at the start of the pandemic.