Qantas share price lifts amid ACCC decision

The Qantas share price is lifting amid news the ACCC has dropped its investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

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Key points

  • The Qantas share price is outperforming on Wednesday, gaining 1.78% to trade at $5.43
  • It comes after the ACCC announced it had dropped its investigation into potential anti-competitive behaviour by Qantas, spurred by a complaint by fellow ASX airline Rex
  • Qantas is once more Australia's most popular domestic airline, taking a 37% market share in April

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is taking off on Wednesday.

It comes after news the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has closed its investigation into alleged misuse of the company’s market power.

Additionally, the ‘flying kangaroo’ has once again secured its leading share of the Australian domestic market.

At the time of writing, the Qantas share price is $5.44, 2.06% higher than its previous close.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is currently up 0.3%. Meanwhile, the airline’s home sector – the S&P/ASX 200 Industrials Index (ASX: XNJ) – has gained 2.33%.

Let’s look closer at the news potentially impacting the national airline on Wednesday.

Qantas share price gains amid ACCC’s ‘okay’

The Qantas share price is lifting amid news the ACCC has dropped its investigation brought about by complaints from Regional Express Holdings Ltd (ASX: REX).

The smaller ASX-listed airline raised concerns of anti-competitive behaviour with the watchdog in late 2020 and early 2021. It did so after Qantas entered regional routes historically operated by Rex and increased capacity on intercity routes after Rex entered them.

“A range of factors impacted the competitive dynamics in the market at the time, particularly the COVID-19 movement restrictions and border closures,” the ACCC said today.

“The ACCC will continue to pay close attention to any behaviour that may be anti-competitive.”

On that note, concerning behaviour of Qantas’ call wait times and travel credits have been flagged with the watchdog.

A “significant number of customers” allege Qantas charged customers paying with credits higher prices for flights. The ACCC is investigating such claims. Though, it notes that it doesn’t deal with long call wait times.

Of course, the ACCC is also dealing with Qantas regarding the airline’s proposed acquisition of Alliance Aviation Services Ltd (ASX: AQZ).

Qantas is Australia’s most popular airline once more

The increasing popularity of Qantas flights might also be impacting its share price on Wednesday.

The airline has retaken the lead in securing the biggest market share of domestic aviation.

The ACCC’s latest Airline Competition in Australia report found that of 4.5 million Australians who flew on Australia’s domestic airlines in April, 37% chose to fly Qantas. Another 28% picked Jetstar as their choice airline.

Meanwhile, Virgin’s market share dropped to 31% and Rex’s remained stable at 4% to 5%.

However, in bad news for passengers, the watchdog noted that “airfares may have bottomed out”.  

Discount airfares hit an 11-year low in late April but they’ve been flagged to rebound after monthly jet fuel prices hit an all-time high in May.

Qantas share price snapshot

The Qantas share price has gained 5.85% in 2022 so far. It’s also 12.4% higher than it was this time last year.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Alliance Aviation Services Ltd. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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