March 20 (Reuters) – Australia’s Alliance Aviation Services Ltd (AQZ.AX) said on Monday the country’s competition regulator has delayed a review until April 20 of the proposed acquisition of the charter operator by Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX).
This marked the fourth delay so far by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the carrier’s A$610.8 million ($409.97 million) acquisition offer of Alliance Aviation.
Last May, Qantas announced plans to buy the remaining 80% stake in Alliance Aviation in an all-stock deal to expand its footprint in the charter business.
“Due to recent announcements by Qantas and Alliance about key developments regarding their existing wet-lease agreement, and fleet expansions by Alliance, the ACCC requires more time to gather and consider further information from the parties,” an ACCC spokesperson said on Monday.
Under the agreement, Qantas said the number of wet-lease aircraft options available from Alliance Airlines, a unit of Alliance Aviation Services, will be up to 12 additional Embraer E190 aircraft.
Alliance Aviation said last month that it had entered an agreement to purchase additional 30 Embraer E190 jet aircraft, with deliveries and payments to be completed in January 2026.
Qantas, which has previously “expressed disappointment” at ACCC delaying its decision, said in an emailed response on Monday that its position on the matter has not changed.
Shares of the Australian carrier dropped 3.1% in early trade, versus a 0.6% decline in the broader market (.AXJO).
($1 = 1.4899 Australian dollars)
Reporting by Upasana Singh and Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue, Rashmi Aich and Sherry Jacob-Phillips