Qantas terminates plans to fully acquire charter operator Alliance Aviation

Ceri Breeze / Ryan Fletcher /

Qantas announced that it is terminating its deal with Alliance Aviation to fully take over the charter operator as initially planned in May 2022.

In February 2019, the Australian flag carrier bought 20% of Alliance Aviation, an Australian-based operator catering to the mining and resource sector.

On May 5, 2022, Qantas said that it would buy the remaining 80% stake of Alliance Aviation through an arrangement scheme where Alliance shareholders would receive Qantas shares worth $3.43 (AU 4.75)  for each Alliance share they held. 

In April 2023, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) blocked Qantas’ bid to acquire a 100% stake in Alliance Airlines. The ACCC believed that the transaction is likely to substantially lessen competition in markets for air transport services to resource industry customers in Western Australia and Queensland.

In an announcement dated October 19, 2023, Qantas said that together with Alliance Aviation, it acknowledges that there is “no reasonable path forward for the deal at present.”

Qantas said that it will continue to serve the growing resources sector through its existing charter operations and that it will retain its shareholding of nearly 20% of Alliance Aviation.

The flag carrier will continue its long-term agreement that sees Alliance operate up to 30 E190s for the Qantas Group. Under the agreement Qantas agreed to exercise options over four additional aircraft, which will bring the total number of E190s operated by Alliance for the Qantas Group to 26. 

The additional aircraft are expected to join the Qantas fleet from April 2024.

“Alliance is an important partner for the Qantas Group and the E190s have helped us open new routes across Australia. These four new aircraft will provide additional capacity and connectivity in the domestic market,” John Gissing, Qantas Group executive of associated airlines and services, said in the announcement.

Meanwhile, Scott McMillan, managing director of Alliance, said that despite the outcome of the transaction, the charter operator looks forward to “continuing our long-standing and productive relationship with Qantas.”

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