A bid by Qantas Airways and South African Airways (SAA) to continue their code-sharing alliance on flights between the two countries has been rejected by Australia’s air services regulator.
The International Air Services Commission (IASC) today denied the airlines’ request to extend existing arrangements beyond Dec 31 this year.
The Commission said there was only limited competition for passengers traveling between Australia and South Africa, and the code share provided a poor substitute for direct competition.
“The two airlines have an effective duopoly on the main routes (from Sydney and Perth),” the IASC ruling said.
The Australian Associated Press said Qantas, which had called for a five-year extension to the alliance, argued in response to an initial ruling in November 2011, that one or both carriers could withdraw from the route if the partnership did not continue.
SAA general manager for commercial Theunis Potgieter said the airline was reviewing its options and would announce any potential changes in due course.
Qantas said it was disappointed by the decision and was studying the ruling closely.
SAA flies from Perth to Johannesburg, while Qantas operates from Sydney to the South African capital.
Under their alliance, both carriers were required to operate a minimum of 10 services weekly between Australia and South Africa.