QANTAS boss Alan Joyce says he is confident a renewed push to get the Australian carrier’s alliance with American Airlines approved by US authorities will be successful. The US Department of Transportation surprised the carriers when it last year rejected an application to grant anti-trust immunity to an expanded business alliance similar to the one Qantas operates with Gulf juggernaut Emirates. This would have allowed them to operate “metal neutral’’ joint flights alongside each other and to coordinate functions such as scheduling, network planning, sales, customer services and capacity decisions. The carriers argued the alliance would allow them to better compete and expand services across the Pacific and competition regulators in Australia and New Zealand had given the deal a green light. However, the DoT found it would harm competition due to the 60 per cent market share the partners would command. Approval from all three regulators was needed to allow the airlines to commercially co-operate in all markets and the airlines initially said they were reviewing their trans-Pacific options. There has since been the change in administration in the US with the election of President Donald Trump and in the US and the appointment of new Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. “We said that we will be refiling and we’ve been going through that process,’’ Joyce said at the airline's interim results presentation on Thursday. “Obviously, there’s been a change in administration in the US and we want to make sure the filing is done at the right time and we make sure we have the case prepared. Joyce said the airlines in their initial application had not done a good enough job in ensuring that customer benefits associated with the alliance were explained. “We will be making a lot better case for that and we’re confident, and our partner American Airlines is confident, that the case is very solid,’’ he said. “These processes can take some time so we will be pursuing it as fast as we can but we are confident we’ll have a positive outcome.’’ Meanwhile, Qantas has also taken advantage of a new air services treaty between Australia and Israel to launch a codeshare partnership with EL AL. The treaty — the first of its kind between the two nations — was signed on Thursday by Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester and Israel’s Ambassador to Australia, Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, as part of a visit Downunder by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The move by the carriers is a step up from their current interline relationship and will allow customers of both airlines to be ticketed on select flights operated by the other as well as earn and redeem frequent flyer points. It will focus on linking Qantas flights between Asia and Australia to El Al flights between Asia and Tel Aviv. Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said Tel Aviv was a popular destination for Australians with friends and families in Israel. “The timing’s especially good when you think about the growing number of Australian companies doing business with Israel’s world-class technology and start-up sectors,’’ he said. Chester said 12,600 Israeli residents visited Australia in 2016 , while 22,000 Australians visited Israel.