Qantas withdraws bid for temporary approval of alliance with Emirates Airlines

Qantas Airways Ltd, has withdrawn a bid to win temporary approval for its proposed alliance with Emirates Airline, deciding the two could complete core preparatory work even without the competition regulator's blessing.

Qantas shares were down as much as 2 per cent on closingtoday and 0.8 per cent down after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or ACCC, said the parties had scrapped their application for "interim authorisation" of the tie-up.

The timing of regulatory approval means much to Qantas as the proposed deal with the world's largest international carrier was a key plank in its strategy to turn around its own loss-making long-haul unit by late 2014.

The parties sought an "interim authorisation" to allow them to negotiate route scheduling and airport-landing slots, prepare joint marketing campaigns, and coordinate booking systems before the regulator completed its formal assessment in March.

Its application in September pointed out that Qantas' landing slots were allocated only twice each year, and that temporary approval of the alliance was required to be able to meet a coming November deadline.

Any delay would have "serious adverse economic implications," Qantas said at the time, which meant the abrupt withdrawal of its application represented a drastic reassessment.