Virgin Australia raises issues over Qantas - Emirates proposed alliance

Virgin Australia remains concerned that public benefits of the proposed Qantas Emirates alliance would lead to the dominance of the two airlines on key routes to and from Australia.

The carrier said in a filing with the competition regulator, that the grant of interim approval to the tie-up, posed a huge risk of giving rise to anti-competitive detriment on routes.

''Given the number of overlapping routes and the respective market shares of (the two airlines) on those routes, there can be no question that there will be an impact on competition,'' Virgin said in its filing with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

''In addition, to entrenching Qantas's market position, the proposed conduct will be likely to have significant effects within the domestic Australian market.''

Qantas has warned that it would retreat to a ''virtual network rather than an operating network'' in the event that the ACCC failed to approve of its proposed alliance with Emirates.

The 10-year deal covered co-ordination on pricing, sales and flight schedules on routes to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand.