Qantas Statement on Qatar Airways

Sydney, 16 March 2007

Qantas said today that the granting of rights for Qatar Airways to operate up to double daily services to Australia reinforced the need for Qantas to continue to restructure and lower its cost base.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said Qantas would be competing with three government-owned Middle Eastern carriers - Qatar, Emirates and Etihad - on routes between Australia and the UK and Europe.

"Around 20 airlines currently already fly these routes over a range of hubs, and with yet more capacity coming into the market, Qantas will have no option but to achieve further cost savings if it is to remain competitive," Mr Dixon said.

"This is something that some unions, who have been calling for further guarantees in relation to the Airline Partners Australia bid for Qantas, need to realise.

"The reality is that whatever its ownership structure, Qantas must change, and will continue to change, to ensure it remains successful."

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3549)