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Singapore competition panel to refine checks on airline alliance pacts

THE Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) is looking to refine the way airlines engage the commission on alliance agreements.

It said on Monday it is seeking feedback on providing an airline guidance note. Airlines are meant to use this note to assess whether any intended alliance agreements should be notified to the CCS for guidance or decision.

The airline guidance note is also meant to help airlines with their notification and submissions on such alliance agreements to the commission.

The CCS said that the guidance note is expected to provide more clarity to airlines on the notification process, including the "substantive issues" commonly encountered during CCS's assessment.

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It said that having a streamlined assessment process with an indicative timeframe will add certainty. Airlines can then structure and plan their alliances.

"Singapore's open-skies policy, based on open competition in Singapore's aviation sector, has helped Singapore to grow as a key air hub in the region. Competition law is therefore a pertinent component of our open skies," said the commission.

"While airline alliances may bring about enhancements in operational efficiencies, they may also give rise to adverse effects on competition in the affected markets."

The consultation closes on Feb 12, 2018.

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