Qantas Statement on Aviation White Paper

Canberra, 16 December 2009

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

Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alan Joyce, said the White Paper provided certainty for the Australian aviation industry.

"Qantas welcomes the White Paper's focus on safety, industry growth and sustainability, investment and customer satisfaction," Mr Joyce said.

"These principles align closely with Qantas' own priorities - foremost among them an unwavering commitment to world's best safety practices.

"We look forward to working with the Government and with our industry colleagues towards achieving the White Paper's overarching objectives."

Mr Joyce said the Government's decision to remove the 25 per cent and 35 per cent limits on foreign investment under the Qantas Sale Act was a positive step forward.

"This change will increase Qantas' flexibility as it meets the challenges of an uncertain global economy and business environment, opening up opportunities for strategic growth and alliances," he said.

"It gives Qantas parity with Australian carriers governed by the Air Navigation Act when it comes to attracting capital.

"Similarly, Qantas is pleased that the Government has reaffirmed its position in relation to air services liberalisation, which recognises the need for a balanced approach and to pursue opportunities for Australian carriers - not least in the ongoing negotiations with the European Union."

Mr Joyce said Qantas had noted the White Paper's strong emphasis on customer protection, including the establishment of benchmark standards for the more consistent handling of complaints.

"Qantas always puts the customer first and we will take a lead role, working with our industry partners, in ensuring that service standards meet public expectations," he said.

Mr Joyce said Qantas also welcomed the White Paper's commitment to the reform of Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations and to improvements and innovation in air traffic management.

"An integrated air traffic management framework is important for Qantas as we seek to increase the efficiency and sustainability of our flying operations," he said.

"On security screening, the Government's proposal for a phased implementation of changes to screening requirements for regional services provides a certain outcome for the industry while containing potential costs for regional passengers."

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3993c)