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The Great Barrier Reef is notoriously treacherous for ships navigating the waters around Australia and the air at 35,000 feet isn't proving much safer for aircraft operators. The region's two major airlines are hoping to survive by navigating through their economic straits together, but regulators last month dealt a blow to the alliance aspirations of Qantas and Air New Zealand.
In a second round of rebuffs to the Qantas bid to acquire a 22.5 percent stake in ANZ for some US$316.5 million, an Australian government commission ruled that the linkup would be against the public interest. The carriers announced an appeal as they awaited a separate ruling from authorities in New Zealand.
ANZ in particular has stressed the importance of the tie-up with Qantas. "Without the alliance, Air New Zealand faces a struggle for survival--but …