Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) has ended its quest to acquire 100% of Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane International), saying on October 19 that "there was no reasonable path forward for the deal at present." Qantas already owns 19.7% of the Brisbane International-based closed charter specialist and proposed buying the remainder last year, only to be [blocked] from doing so by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in April. At the time, Qantas said it would consider its options.

In its October 19 statement, Qantas acknowledged the ACCC's decision but said it and Alliance believed the deal would have created customer value without lessening competition. The statement said combining the two airline's Fokker 100s would have created considerable efficiencies. Qantas says it will maintain its existing shareholding in Alliance Airlines. Qantas also said it would exercise options to wet lease another four Alliance-operated ERJ 190-100ARs, with the aircraft joining the Qantas fleet from April 2024. It takes the total number of Embraers the airline wet-leases to 26. There are a further four unexercised options.

"Alliance is an important partner for the Qantas Group, and the E190s have helped us open new routes across Australia," said John Gissing, Qantas Group Executive of Associated Airlines and Services. "These four new aircraft will provide additional capacity and connectivity in the domestic market.”

Separately, the ACCC will resume monitoring Australia's domestic passenger airlines to weed out inappropriate market conduct. At the Australian government's behest, the ACCC had previously issued quarterly reports detailing industry performance using metrics such as fare prices, cancellations, and delays. While the reports did generate some adverse publicity for the airlines, including Qantas, they did not have any impact on prices, cancellations, and delays. Qantas had opposed reinstating the ACCC reports, which only ended in June. However, during a recent torrid Senate Select Committee hearing in Canberra, they agreed public perception of the airline might improve with more oversight and transparency.

"We want a safe, sustainable and efficient aviation sector that provides a high standard of service, good prices and better consumer protections for Australians," said Australia's federal transport minister, Catherine King. "ACCC market scrutiny will help ensure airlines compete on their merits, bring to light any inappropriate market conduct should it occur, and provide continued transparency at a time when new and expanding airlines are still trying to establish themselves. The direction will apply for three years and commence before the end of the year with reports released quarterly."