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Australia’s regulator axes Qantas-Japan Airlines deal

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Qantas wins in another High Court battle

Australia’s Consumer Watchdog blocks Qantas and Japan Airlines alliance

The Australian Competition and Consumer Chair has ruled against the joint business agreement between Qantas and Japan Airlines. The ACCC says the coordinated deal would hamper competitors on Australia-Japan routes.

Qantas and Japan Airlines announced the plan in December 2020, to launch in July 2021. Both major airlines wanted to use the plan to reboot the aviation sector and international travel.

However, the ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, says it is essential that competition between airlines is maintained to help the aviation industry’s full recovery. The plan did not pass the ACCC’s public benefits test.

“Airlines have been severely impacted by the pandemic and this has been a very difficult period for them,”

“But preserving competition between airlines is the key to the long-term recovery of the aviation and tourism sectors, once international travel restrictions are eased.”

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims

Protecting the aviation sector

Qantas and Japan Airlines traditionally flew approximately 85-90% of total passengers flying between Australia and Japan. The ACCC says granting authorisation for the alliance would remove competition between Qantas and Japan Airlines. It would also make it extremely difficult for other airlines to operate on routes between Australia and Japan.

Virgin Australia has also petitioned against the plan saying, “it will be more difficult to enter the Australia-Japan route if it is required to compete with Qantas and Japan Airlines acting jointly rather than as individual competing airlines.

The ACCC reiterates the alliance between Qantas and Japan Airlines would stop all competition between the airlines including price and service for three years.

“The ACCC can only authorise an agreement between competitors if it is satisfied the public benefits will outweigh the harm to competition. The alliance did not pass this test.”

Australia Competition and Consumer Commission Chair 

Qantas and JAL expressed disappointment with the ACCC decision in a joint statement on Monday, though they said they would continue their codeshare arrangements and oneworld alliance partnership.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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Money

Workers rush back to their desks over job fears

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Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property

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Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Money

Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation

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Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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