The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted approval for Virgin Australia to establish a partnership with Virgin Atlantic on flights services between Australia and the UK and Ireland.

The interim authorisation will extend the existing codeshare agreement between the two companies in order to jointly coordinate on managing prices, inventory and marketing strategies.

The agreement was initially established early last year.

Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic currently do not operate any flights on the mentioned routes.

The interim authorisation statement is a result of an application from the two companies to ACCC for the authorisation of flight services between Australia and the UK and Ireland through mutual mid-points in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said; “We do not think this enhanced cooperation is likely to lessen competition on the routes between Australia and the British Isles.”

According to ACCC, the application will be assessed in a timely manner.

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The draft determination of the application is set to be opened for public in September, while the final determination will be announced in November.

Last December, ACCC launched legal proceedings against budget carrier Jetstar Airways for allegedly misleading consumers on their rights to claim refunds.

According to ACCC, Jetstar admitted that it provided wrong information on its website, which stated that some of its fares were not refundable and only consumers who bought more expensive tickets could ask for a refund.

Jetstar also admitted that its terms and conditions on consumer guarantees under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) did not apply to its flight services.