Here is something that only a competition lawyer would be able to answer, but this IASC decision seems to fly in the the face of common sense.
I know that the load factors between TSV-POM may have been a bit low, and there may be an element of ' throwing toys out of the cot' happening here but the existing PX service was useful for a sizeable proportion of FIFO workers based in TSV (and CNS) who work at various resource projects in PNG, so now the IASC has in effect made this workforce fly TSV-CNS-POM-XXX instead of just TSV-POM-XXX. If Qantas was able to code share on PX TSV-POM then I don't think that would have made any difference as these guys are price inelastic customers but of course may have preferred to get booked on the QF codeshare if they had any choice in the matter. So now they are flying TSV-CNS and I wonder which airline has a cozy monopoly on that route with no competition now? Any guesses?
Similary by nixing the codeshare someone in SYD wanting to go to POM now has to book on the PX service and can't fly QF direct - instead they are rerouted through BNE on a domestic then international transfer in BNE with the reverse happening on return. Thus handing PX an effective monopoly on the higher yielding SYD-POM market.
I live in TSV so when the PX service started it opened up a possibility of some actual viable 1 stop international flights via POM to say Singapore (or even Japan) - but of course PX is so limited in fleet that they couldn't offer any sensible connection times or compelling fares for me to consider that, but the point remains is that this also helps QF by reducing any other options for people who live in TSV unless they want to backtrack to BNE or SYD (which QF have JQized) or fly to CNS and the only options there are JQ to Japan.
So the effect is to funnel all PNG-AUS traffic through BNE with both VA and QF already price gouging on prices, and PX lacking the ability or aircraft to upsize or compete the end result is higher airfares between PNG and Australia.
The argument that the IASC uses of : "“The Commission’s finding is that Qantas’s proposed free-sale codeshare arrangement with Air Niugini would reduce competition by increasing barriers to entry on the city pairs served only by Air Niugini (Cairns-Port Moresby, Sydney-Port Moresby, Townsville-Port Moresby) and by risking the withdrawal of Virgin Australia from the Brisbane-Port Moresby sector, where both Qantas and Air Niugini offer parallel services,” the IASC draft determination said.
Has one massive logical flaw - its not like its possible or likely that there are a huge array of carriers in PNG or in Australia who are lining up to fly between PNG and Australia. And its not like aircraft and trained crew are easy to find so I wouldn't imagine that flying a F70 between TSV-POM is going to be such a huge money spinner because if it was then someone would already be doing it.
So if the ASC's intention is to throw a massive wet blanket over any competition or compatative options for flying into and out of Australia then they can claim "mission successful"....
Have I missed something obvious?