The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a draft determination, proposing to grant authorisation for Qantas and Emirates partnership for another five years. The final approval is expected in March 2018.

In response to the ACCC proposal, both airlines issued a joint statement on February 16, 2018, welcoming the interim decision.

“The ACCC’s draft determination is an important step in helping us deliver a better travel experience and more options between Australia, the UK and Europe for millions of customers,” Qantas spokesperson is quoted in the statement. “The first five years of the partnership has lived up to the promise of serving our customers better, together, and the changes to our network are designed to reinforce this for the next five years”.

“More than 8 million passengers have benefited from Emirates and Qantas’ joint network since the partnership began in 2013, and we look forward to continue leveraging on each airline’s unique strengths to offer travellers even more choice and enhanced services in the coming years,” said an unnamed Emirates spokesperson.

In August 2017, Qantas and Emirates announced the plans to extend their pre-existing partnership until 2023. In a statement at that time, the carriers claimed that during the first five years of the partnership, eight million passengers travelled on the joint network, which has over 2,000 routes.

Despite agreeing that the partnership was mutually beneficial, several changes were introduced in the newest 2023 proposal. Among them, the change that will come into force in March 2018, “will see the airlines better leveraging each other’s networks, by providing three options to Europe – via Dubai, Perth and Singapore”, was pointed in a statement in August 2017.