Emirates Airlines has been ordered to pay a $10 million fine for price fixing by the Federal Court of Australia. In the meantime, both Emirates and Qantas are waiting for regulatory approval for a codeshare arrangement between the two airlines aiming to commence in April 2013. Meanwhile, Tourism Australia has announced it has completed the signing of a global marketing deal with the Gulf carrier aimed at boosting incoming tourism to Australia.
The initiative between Tourism Australia and Emirates will aim to tap into key inbound visitor markets such as the UK, Germany, New Zealand, France and Italy by utilizing Emirates’ growing global network, which reflects the world’s largest international passenger base. The tourism agency and the airline have scheduled about AU$14 million for joint marketing activities over the next three years. Marketing will combine both traditional and digital media platforms as well as event and sponsorship activities.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has investigated a number of airlines and Emirates is the tenth international airline to settle in the proceedings for a $68 million payment, the largest fine ordered so far. The carrier was told to pay the fine in relation to alleged price fixing of fuel and other surcharges. Similar proceeding have being brought against Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, Garuda Indonesia and Thai Airways are due to be heard in the Federal Court in Sydney. Previously, Australia’s national carrier Qantas was ordered to pay $20 million in 2008, British Airways $5 million the same year and Malaysian Airlines $6 million earlier this year.
Emirates and Tourism Australia have already cooperated on marketing activities over the past years but now recognized the benefits of a more strategic longer term approach in marketing Australia to the Emirates’ well established European base. Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Public, International, Industry and Environmental Affairs, Andrew Parker, noted that the new partnership underlined its commitment to Tourism Australia’s strategy for attracting global travellers.