The competition watchdog the ACCC today published a draft determination proposing authorisation of a joint venture between Virgin Blue and Delta Airlines on their flights between Australia and the US.

Although not final the draft makes a link up early in 2010 likely given that the necessary US approval for the deal seems inevitable because it already allows an identical arrangement across the North Atlantic by Delta and Air France KLM.

In a statement the ACCC says:

ACCC DeltaDelta flies the Australia-US route now with ultra long range Boeing 777-200LRs while V Australia uses the larger -300ER version. The flexibility of using both types to maximise freight or passenger payloads and fly further into the US than Los Angeles and San Francisco would offer both airlines valuable efficiencies, however the main attraction comes from two way traffic feeds similar to those enjoyed between the Qantas and American Airlines networks.

Submissions and related information about the ‘Delta V’ deal can be found on the
ACCC website, where it is understood more documentation will be added before the close of business today.

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