The federal government has thrown its support behind Qantas Airways' proposed 10-year alliance with Dubai-based Emirates.
In a submission to the competition regulator assessing the Qantas-Emirates tie-up, the Department of Infrastructure and Transport said it expected the partnership to enhance consumer choice, deepen competition and broaden Qantas's international network at minimal cost.
"Apart from the short-term benefits the alliance will provide for consumers; the Department considers the alliance also is likely to deliver long term, sustainable competition to our international aviation markets," the Department's submission said.
"On balance, the Department sees the proposed alliance as a positive and as being consistent with the Australian government's aviation policy settings."
In September, Qantas and Emirates unveiled a global partnership that involved an extensive codesharing arrangement, reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits and joint marketing, pricing and coordination on certain routes.
The alliance was regarded as a key plank in Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce's bid to turn around the Flying Kangaroo's struggling international operations, which reported a $450 million loss in 2011/12.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is currently evaluating the proposed alliance.
A draft determination was due out by December, with a final decision expected by the end of March 2013.
Qantas closed up half a cent at $1.255.