Qantas Statement on Aviation Green Paper

Sydney, 02 December 2008

Qantas today welcomed the release of the Federal Government's draft National Aviation Policy Statement (Green Paper).

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Alan Joyce, said the proposed initiatives were broad ranging and forward looking and would play an important role in providing a coordinated framework for the Australian aviation industry over the long term.

"Qantas welcomes the Government's recognition that, perhaps more than any other country, Australia's economic prosperity is closely tied to the viability and competitiveness of its aviation sector," Mr Joyce said.

"We are also pleased that the challenges faced by the global aviation industry, and the need for Australian airlines to be able to respond effectively to these, has been acknowledged.

"The Government has rightly made aviation safety its top priority and we are in complete agreement on this - safety always has been and always will be the number one priority across the Qantas Group.

"The proposal to pursue greater international market access to improve commercial opportunities for Australia's airlines will also be critical in supporting the future growth and competitiveness of Qantas, Jetstar and our freight business.

"Importantly, the proposed policy settings also recognise the structural advantages enjoyed by many of our major competitors and the need to take these into account when determining a balanced approach to market liberalisation."

Mr Joyce said that while it appeared the 49 percent limit on foreign investment in Australian international airlines would not change, Qantas welcomed the Government's preparedness to look at other restrictions that applied to ownership in Qantas.

"This is a step in the right direction which will set us on an equal footing with other Australian international carriers," he said.

"Our concerns regarding aviation taxation issues have also been noted, which we will continue to pursue via the Government's review of Australia's tax system, and we also welcome the Government's intention to look at the issue of additional airport capacity for the Sydney region."

He said that once the detail of the Green Paper had been assessed, Qantas would be closely involved in the ongoing consultation processes ahead of the finalisation of the White Paper in the second half of 2009.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3861)