Qantas takeover target Alliance frustrated with ACCC limbo

Alliance executive director Lee Schofield said the company and shareholders had lost patience with the ACCC and would be writing to it shortly to ask for a decision one way or another.

“A year, we think, is more than enough time and we think it’s time for the ACCC to make a decision,” Mr Schofield said.

“It’s more of a source of frustration because it’s carried on for so long.”

An ACCC spokeswoman said its investigation was ongoing and there was no provisional decision date for its completion, as is generally the case when it investigates such acquisitions.

Alliance has called Qantas’ advance “unwelcome”, and Mr Schofield said the interests of shareholders would be the company’s priority.

Alliance’s half-year results, released after market close on Wednesday, showed a first-half net profit after tax of $10.7 million – up 8.7 per cent from the same period last year.

The result was driven by a 17 per cent jump in revenue from its long-term contract flying business, which includes its resource sector work. Mr Schofield said the outlook remained positive for its mining customers, and Alliance expected an increase in demand for flights in the second half.

Tourism and leisure charter flights, which account for around 3 per cent of its business, had not seen any deterioration to date from the devastating bushfire season and outbreak of coronavirus but growth could be hit in the future.

However, that would be “nothing significant in the context of our business”, Mr Schofield said.

Alliance operates a fleet of 40 aircraft, made up of Fokker 100 and Fokker 70 jets, and Fokker 50 turbo propeller aircraft.


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