The Australian competition regulator said on Thursday it gave an interim permit for Qantas Airways Ltd and Emirates to continue their passenger and cargo transport alliance, while it assessed their application for final authorisation.

Qantas and Emirates' existing five-year authorisation is due to expire at the end of March. The parties are seeking another five-year extension to the alliance, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement.

Under the current authorisation, Qantas and Emirates coordinate their operations across their networks, covering routes between Australia and the United Kingdom or Europe, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

"The ACCC may review the interim authorisation at any time and its interim authorisation decision should not be taken to be indicative of whether or not final authorisation will be granted," the regulator's Commissioner Anna Brakey said.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Eileen Soreng)