Qantas Welcomes Government Decision

Sydney, 15 June 2005

Qantas today welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government to defer a decision on opening access to Singapore Airlines on the trans-Pacific route.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said that it was ludicrous for Singapore Airlines to suggest that this was one of the most protected air routes.

"The fact is that today, Qantas, Virgin Blue, Air New Zealand, United Airlines and any other United States carrier that chooses to can operate between Australia and the United States.

"Many carriers, including Continental, Northwest and American Airlines, have operated on the Pacific, but abandoned it after losing tens of millions of dollars," Mr Dixon said.

He said Qantas had been talking to the Government about a range of issues distorting international competition and the need for the industry to restructure.

"It is pleasing to see that the Australian Government plans to discuss a wider range of policy issues on an industry basis with Qantas, Virgin Blue and other carriers," Mr Dixon said.

"Qantas is one of the least protected airlines in the world - it has maintained profitability and had relative success while competing against a multitude of subsidised and government-owned airlines," Mr Dixon said.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3284)