The Morrison Government has directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to monitor domestic air passenger services for a period of three years.
The Government has consistently said Australia’s national interest is best served through having a sustainable, competitive aviation sector. ACCC monitoring will assist in protecting competition in the domestic passenger airline market, for the benefit of all Australian airline travellers.
In conjunction with the airport monitoring work already undertaken by the ACCC, the direction will also assist the ACCC to obtain relevant information and provide another avenue for those wishing to raise concerns about anti-competitive conduct in the domestic air passenger sector.
The direction will be issued under section 95ZE of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and will require the ACCC to monitor prices, costs and profits in the domestic air passenger sector. A key matter covered will be the level of capacity the airlines are putting on each route and whether this is occurring in a way that may damage competition. The ACCC will release reports at least quarterly.
The Government has and will continue to support the aviation industry through various initiatives so our economy recovers strongly on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic. This includes continuing to work constructively with the administrator in relation to the Virgin administration and supporting a market-based solution.
We have already committed to extending a range of aviation assistance measures. These include extending shortfall subsidies on major domestic air routes until 30 September 2020 and on regional air routes until 31 December 2020, extending existing concessions on government fees and charges and providing the industry access to JobKeeper.
The Government will continue to act in Australia’s national interest by supporting a commercially viable and competitive aviation sector.