ICCC approves code-sharing


THE Independent Consumer (ICCC) and Competition Commission has given its approval to Air Niugini to code-share with Qantas on flights between Port Moresby and Cairns.
ICCC commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain confirmed the authorisation to Air Niugini to enter into the agreement with Qantas for a period of five years effective from November 10.
“The two airlines will code-share for passenger services only,” Ain said.
“Qantas will market seats on Air Niugini operated flights on a free-sale basis, meaning that Qantas will act as a travel agent for Air Niugini, selling seats on Air Niugini’s flights and earning a commission on seats sold.”
Air Niugini had applied to the commission on July 27.
ICCC is satisfied that the code-share arrangements would generate more public benefits than detriments.
Ain said benefits included:
n An element of competition in airfares on the POM-Cairns route. Should the authrisation be denied, Air Niugini would effectively be the sole carrier operating and marketing passenger services between POM and Cairns;
n enabling Air Niugini to operate efficiently on the route, as it would benefit from Qantas’ wider marketing and operating network that would attract overseas customers and ensure seamless flight connections for Papua New Guinea-bound passengers connecting via Cairns.
Qantas’ presence in international markets would create a better chance for tickets to be sold on Air Niugini’s flights and hence boost passenger numbers and freight volume; and,
n Providing customer a choice  – at least on the marketing front. With the code-share arrangement in place, customers will have a choice to travel between POM and Cairns on either an Air Niugini or Qantas ticket and earn loyalty points with their participating airline.
“The arrangement provides little incentive for the marketing carrier, Qantas, to aggressively sell seats on the coder-share flight, thus it provides less competition between Qantas and Air Niugini on the marketing of seats,” Ain said.

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