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Old March 9th, 2006, 06:10 AM   #421
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Australia's Transport Minister Welcomes Qantas Decision
8 March 2006

CANBERRA (Dow Jones)--Transport Minister Warren Truss Thursday welcomed Qantas Airways Ltd.'s (QAN.AU) decision to retain its heavy maintenance capability in Australia.

Truss said he'd made it clear to Qantas it was "strongly in the national interest" for the Sydney-based airline to retain such skills.

"The Qantas board's decision to retain its aeronautical maintenance sites in Australia is vital to uphold our reputation as a world-leader in aviation and to sustain our military aviation sources," Truss said in a statement.

Earlier Thursday, Qantas announced it was closing its Boeing Co. 747 heavy maintenance operations in Sydney and shedding about 480 jobs.

Qantas Chief Executive Geoff Dixon had previously indicated up to 2,500 jobs from the airline's heavy maintenance facilities could be sent offshore as he continued his five-year A$3 billion cost-cutting program.

"These job losses will be hard for the Sydney workers but the government acknowledges that Qantas must strive to remain competitive in what is a very cutthroat global aviation environment," Truss said.

Last month Truss decided to keep protecting Qantas' most profitable route by blocking Singapore Airlines Ltd.'s (S55.SG) request to access the Australia-U.S. route.

At the time, Truss said he'd not sought any concessions from Qantas to keep its heavy maintenance facilities in Australia.

Qantas, expecting the heavy maintenance restructure to deliver A$100 million a year in savings, said a longer-term commitment to keeping the operations in Australia would depend on the airline "achieving competitive benchmarks with the larger global maintenance repair and overhaul providers now dominating world aviation."

Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten couldn't rule out industrial action in response to the job cuts, saying he would have to consult union members on the issue.

Shorten said the job cuts weren't as bad as expected but he questioned whether more Sydney heavy maintenance staff could be deployed in other areas of the airline.

Qantas said it may be able to redeploy about 140 workers, reducing the job losses to 340.

"Qantas talks about internationally benchmarking engineering costs against Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur yet they benchmark their senior executive salaries against New York and London," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 07:41 AM   #422
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Virgin Blue Lobbying for Daily Flights on Sydney-La Route

SYDNEY, March 6 Asia Pulse - Sir Richard Branson today said Virgin Blue would need to fly daily to the United States for the route to be profitable to the airline.

The federal government has opened the way for Virgin Blue to introduce flights from Sydney to Los Angeles after blocking a bid by Singapore Airlines to compete with Qantas on the route.

Virgin Blue has been encouraged by the federal government to begin flying as soon as it has the appropriate fleet and staffing levels required for an international service.

"I think it does leave the way open for Virgin Blue to go on the Sydney to LA route," Sir Richard told journalists today.

"I think if we can get a daily service, which we really need to be profitable, then I think the chances are that Virgin Blue will go on that route."

Sir Richard said Virgin Blue had been lobbying to make sure seven flights a week were available on the route, as opposed to the current four flights a week.

"Over the next handful of months (Virgin Blue hopes to have an answer) but negotiations are going to have to go on with the Americans ... fingers crossed we are successful," he said.

Virgin Blue shares were half a cent lower at A$1.685 at 1209 AEDT.

(AAP)


I'm a big fan of boeing but it would be awesome to see them use Airbus A340-600's for this route. I love that plane. I wonder what aircraft they plan to use. An A380 would even be cooler.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 03:45 PM   #423
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From: http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/...098351858.html
_________________________________
Quote:
OzJet grounded after failing to take off

By Kirsty Needham and Scott Rochfort
March 13, 2006

LESS than four months after its launch, plans by the business class airline OzJet to become the third domestic airline have failed.

The airline cancelled flights between Sydney and Melbourne at 8pm last night. Passengers who had made one leg of a journey were being offered return flights free of charge by Qantas. Ozjet will refund other tickets, which can then be rebooked with Qantas at the same price.

OzJet's founder, Paul Stoddart, said the airline had seen an "eight-figure loss", but creditors were not behind the announcement.

The company would continue as a charter operation, with booked clients including the rock band U2, football teams and business groups. OzJet has retrenched half of its staff and will reduce the number of aircraft from four to two or three, Mr Stoddart said.

At the end of last year he said that OzJet needed six months to prove itself, and the only thing that would stop the airline "would be if the public was not giving us support". It was due to launch a Perth service tomorrow.

But Mr Stoddart said the fledgling airline did not see the expected pick-up in bookings this month from the Commonwealth Games and passenger numbers had slumped 50 per cent.

He said Australia could not support a third domestic airline, and this "is a reality that goes back to the old Ansett".

From the start the company struggled to fill seats in its 737-200s, which are about 30 years old, and could not make inroads into what is the world's third busiest air route - Sydney to Melbourne.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 02:46 AM   #424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258
I'm a big fan of boeing but it would be awesome to see them use Airbus A340-600's for this route. I love that plane. I wonder what aircraft they plan to use. An A380 would even be cooler.
I'm putting my money on the 777.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:26 AM   #425
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Lessons learnt for OzJet operator, now Battle of Britain awaits
CLIVE DORMAN
14 March 2006
The Age

OzJet's demise highlights the pitfalls facing new players in the Australian airline industry. But its bruised founder has little time for reflection, writes Clive Dorman.

THEY say the best way to become a millionaire is to become a billionaire first and then start an airline. Entrepreneur Paul Stoddart has just learnt what a tough business it can be, declaring he will "never go back into scheduled flying" after the failure of "an ambitious and overoptimistic plan" to start an all-business-class airline in Australia.

OzJet's collapse at the weekend has propelled Mr Stoddart back to the business he knows: selling aircraft, aircraft parts and aircraft interiors and flying contract and ad hoc charters through his group, European Aviation (EAL), which operates European Aviation Air Charter (EAAC) from its base in Bournemouth, Britain.

The legacy of the OzJet experiment, which Mr Stoddart said lost "a touch more than $10 million" in less than three months of flying, will be the creation of a small Australian charter venture, to be based at Tullamarine with a staff of about 40 and two Boeing 737 aircraft.

Aiming to attract corporate, government and social groups of 40 to 100 for everything from conventions and interstate football matches to regular contracted flights on poorly served air routes, it is the first venture of its type in Australia.

Mr Stoddart's focus, however, will be to deal with the struggles of his Bournemouth operation. He admits EAL is "just breaking even", following the downturn in the European charter business with the rise of scheduled low-cost carriers. Mr Stoddart says British-based charter operators are having an increasingly difficult time competing with start-up carriers in other parts of Europe that aren't governed by the stringent flying rules of Britain's Civil Aviation Authority.

EAAC was dramatically downsized in 2004, when Mr Stoddart repurchased the business, which he had sold two years earlier to a consortium that, he says, had installed "the wrong management".

All but about 100 of its workforce of about 650 people were sacked and, as the charter business continued its downturn, EAAC last year grounded its two remaining Boeing 747s, which could no longer find regular, profitable work.

EAL ( www.european.aero ) now employs about 150 people.

Mr Stoddart maintains that OzJet had a "fantastic product", reflected in positive feedback it received from the few customers it did attract. "But I was worried from the start that it was attracting only about 25 per cent of projected demand," he says. Despite the fact that the regular one-way fare from Melbourne to Sydney was cut from $325 to $199, OzJet "didn't see the increase in demand after the Australia Day weekend that had been expected", he said.

OzJet also struggled with the perception that Australians wouldn't travel on 30-year-old aircraft - the approximate age of Mr Stoddart's 737 fleet - and being three months late getting to market last year because of delays in obtaining its air operator's certificate from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. It didn't start flying until just before Christmas, with business already in holiday mode.

But Mr Stoddart said he believed the age of the fleet had "zero" impact on the target market and that it wouldn't have "mattered a sod" if Ozjet hadn't encountered delays with CASA.

"There just isn't a market for a business-class airline between Melbourne and Sydney," he said.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 05:01 AM   #426
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Thursday March 16, 5:13 AM
AUSTRALIA PRESS: Government To Review Airport Regulations

MELBOURNE (Dow Jones)--Qantas Ltd.(QAN.AU) chief executive Geoff Dixon has written to 2600 pilots over cost cutting initiatives including stopping its payments to their union, The Australian Financial Review reported Thursday.

The airline is assuming a cost base with oil prices of US$60 a barrel and plans to cut off the A$500,000 a year it traditionally pays the Australian & International Pilots Association to cover the salaries of its executives, the paper said.

"It's about productivity and overall efficiency, not just rates of pay. Given our investment profile and the competitive nature of our business, we have no other option," Dixon said.

Dixon is chasing cost cuts of A$3 billion by 2008 under his "sustainable future" program.

"Flight crew so far have been unaffected by these changes but when just two line items - manpower and fuel - now account for almost 60% of our cost base, there is no option but to accelerate the rate of change," the letter read.

Newspaper Web site: http://www.afr.com
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Old March 17th, 2006, 02:36 AM   #427
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Qantas threatened by worker revolt
Steve Creedy
17 March 2006
The Australian

QANTAS could still face industrial action from maintenance workers, despite its decision not to send their jobs overseas.

Unions remain unhappy about the airline's decision to axe 480 jobs in Sydney and close down the long-haul heavy maintenance base there.

At least one union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, says it is planning industrial action if the airline continues with its plans to cut costs.

"There's a major attack, which is consistent with the Government's industrial policy, on members' penalty rates and loadings," AMWU national secretary Doug Cameron said yesterday.

"We suspect this is at the behest of the federal Government -- as payback for the Singapore Airlines decision -- and we are now talking to our members about a campaign of industrial action to oppose these massive changes."

The airline announced last week that it would cut 340 jobs as it moved Boeing 767 heavy maintenance to Brisbane and 747 work to Avalon in Victoria by May.

High fuel prices and a global change in the way airlines do their maintenance had led the airline to consider sending at least 2500 jobs offshore. But after months of saying it would be forced to make hard choices if it could not get cost cuts of 15 to 20 per cent from workers, the airline opted for the internal restructure with reviews against "global benchmarks" next year and in 2008.

The airline is also reviewing its narrow-body heavy maintenance operations in Melbourne.

Chief executive Geoff Dixon has denied that the decision to retain the jobs in Australia was in any way related to the Government's workplace reform legislation.

He said last week that moving the work overseas would have produced bigger savings overall but a successful Australian restructuring had the benefit of significant savings while preserving a much desired skills base in this country.

However, he refused to rule out sending jobs offshore if the restructure failed to meet the global benchmarks.

Mr Cameron said the airline had still to provide details of how it arrived at the benchmarking.

He said Mr Dixon had agreed to provide the detail but a presentation earlier this week had not been detailed.

"It was simply generalities and the argument was that the benchmarks were simply commercial in confidence," Mr Cameron said.

The AMWU's unhappiness is mirrored at the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, which stands to lose 227 jobs in the restructure.

It says the decision will wipe out the equivalent of 4000 man-years of heavy maintenance experience at the airline.

Union officials met Qantas executives yesterday to put an alternative proposal that would save jobs by boosting efficiency and productivity.

It was told bluntly that the decision made on Sydney maintenance would not be reversed.

The union expressed "strong displeasure" about the lack of consultation but said Qantas had agreed to discuss ways to reduce the number of redundancies.

Qantas also faces legal action in Federal Court today from pilots attempting to stop a deal with Jetstar which they believe will undercut wages and conditions.

The Australian and International Pilots Association is alleging the closure of a second officer base in Melbourne is linked to the start-up of Jetstar International, a claim Qantas categorically denies and says it will rigorously defend.

Mr Dixon also wrote to the pilots this week warning them that high oil prices meant change in the airline would accelerate and they were not immune.

He confirmed Qantas had cut off $500,000 in funding to the union that was part of an unusual deal to pay the wages of the president and vice-president.

Qantas head of industrial relations Kevin Brown said yesterday he believed the facts on which the pilots' action was based were wrong and that it would fail.

He questioned why the union wanted to waste money on the attempt.

"Our view is that their argument is spurious," he said, noting second officers flew on international A330-300 services, not the domestic A330-200s headed to Jetstar.

Mr Brown said the airline was due to renegotiate an enterprise agreement with pilots at the end of this year and was likely to seek productivity improvements rather than wage cuts.

Asked about potential industrial action by maintenance unions, he said it would not change the end result. "We're not going to reopen Sydney because of that."

He agreed that Qantas was now fighting industrial issues on several fronts but said: "Do I think we face wholesale union action? I don't."
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Old March 17th, 2006, 07:12 AM   #428
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interesting stuff... can someone post some pics of the airbus a380 with quantas logo's on it? if not then just some stock ones i need pics of this aircraft from all angles for my school project cheers
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Old March 17th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #429
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oh and while ur at it can someone post some pictures of the new b787 =)
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Old April 11th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #430
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Qantas announces it is scrapping its budget carrier Australian Airlines
10 April 2006

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Qantas Airways Ltd is scrapping its budget carrier Australian Airlines in July, and will focus on its key Qantas and low-cost Jetstar brands in local and international markets, chief executive Geoff Dixon announced Tuesday.

Jetstar is Qantas' second budget offshoot and the company wants it to operate as its only low-cost carrier.

From November, Jetstar will begin flying international routes to Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, Osaka in Japan, Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, Honolulu, and the Indonesian vacation island of Bali.

"Australian Airlines has done an outstanding job over the past few years, but we are determined to take full advantage of Jetstar's success, with its highly competitive cost structure and service standards," Dixon said in a statement.

"We are creating two distinct and viable flying businesses in what remains a very difficult operating environment of continuing record high fuel prices," Dixon later told reporters.

"Jetstar will be grown aggressively over the next three years while we continue to expand Qantas' international operations," he added.

Dixon said Australian Airlines began flying when SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, took hold in the region in 2003, and the airline never recovered from the associated downturn in international travel. There were 8,000 cases of the disease in 30 countries, about 800 of them fatal.

"We would have liked it to be more profitable," Dixon told reporters.

He said 30-40 people would lose their jobs in the next few months with the loss of the airline while another 550 people would be recruited to staff the new Qantas and Jetstar services.

Dixon also said Qantas did not foresee any major drop in the price of oil in the next two or three years so the airline would have to substantially restructure.

"Part of that major restructuring is the starting of Jetstar as an international operation," Dixon said.

Jetstar, which was set up to compete with rival budget airline Virgin Blue in May 2004, will offer two classes.

The airline will initially use six Airbus A330-200 aircraft before upgrading to 12 Boeing 787 aircraft, Dixon said.

"The network will ultimately provide more services to Asia and the Pacific before expanding with second stage flying to Europe and other destinations," Dixon said.

Jetstar will unveil fares and schedules for its international flights in June.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 08:12 PM   #431
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Qantas, Air New Zealand to cooperate on Tasman flights

SYDNEY, April 12, 2006 (AFP) - Australian national airline Qantas on Wednesday said it had signed a deal with Air New Zealand which would allow the carriers to cooperate on schedules, pricing and marketing for Tasman flights.

Under the agreement the two airlines, which were blocked from forming a proposed alliance in 2004, would be able to codeshare on flights between Australia and New Zealand, Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said.

The deal, which is subject to a regulatory approval process in both countries, was expected to take up to six months, would extend to the airlines' budget carriers Jetstar and Freedom Air, he said.

"This commercial agreement enables us to maintain network presence, while realigning some of the current surplus capacity on the Tasman," Dixon said.

"We plan to develop a combined schedule that allows us both to better utilise aircraft and save costs."

Dixon said the agreement would give passengers sustainable low fares, an improved range of departure times and expanded destinations.

Under the blocked 2004 proposal, Qantas had proposed buying up to 22.5 percent of Air New Zealand for 550 million NZ dollars (351 million US), with both carriers agreeing to cooperate on flights across the Tasman Sea and within New Zealand.

But the New Zealand Commerce Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission rejected the plan, saying it would be anti-competitive and lead to higher airfares for some passengers.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 05:34 AM   #432
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Adelaide now hub for overseas flights
11 April 2006
The Advertiser

THE growth in international airline flights through Adelaide Airport has reached unprecedented levels.

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has confirmed it will double its Adelaide services - from the present twice a week to four from June 1.

It follows Singapore Airlines increasing from four flights a week to a daily service two weeks ago - the same time Air New Zealand reintroduced Adelaide to its network, flying three times a week from Auckland.

Adelaide Airport now handles 26 international flights a week - increasing to 28 on June 1.

South Australian Tourism Alliance chairman Les Penley said it was "excellent news" that the airlines had enough confidence in SA to increase the number of services.

"However, the challenge will be to have sufficient marketing of SA as a destination to fill the seats of the flights coming in," Mr Penley said.

"And that will require an increase in marketing expenditure by the State Government."

The new Cathay Pacific flights will follow the schedule of its existing Sunday and Wednesday services for Adelaide Airport.

On Saturdays and Tuesdays, the Cathay Pacific flights will leave at 11am for Melbourne and Hong Kong, connecting to flights to European cities.

They will arrive in Adelaide non-stop from Hong Kong.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #433
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Qantas Reviewing Fuel Surcharge
18 April 2006

SYDNEY (Dow Jones)--Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN.AU) said Wednesday it was considering increasing its fuel surcharge on passenger tickets to help offset record crude oil prices.

"We are currently reviewing our fuel surcharges due to sustained high fuel prices," chief financial officer Peter Gregg said in a statement, according to a spokesman. [ 19-04-06 0140GMT ]

Crude oil futures for May delivery closed 95 cents higher on Nymex overnight at a record US$71.35/barrel.

Chief executive Geoff Dixon said earlier this month that while the company has hedged its entire fuel bill for fiscal 2006 at US$60 to US$64/bbl, it is still expected to be over A$1 billion higher than last year.

The company last increased its fuel surcharge in September, lifting the fee on international flights by A$15 to A$75 and across its mainline domestic flights by A$6 to A$26.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #434
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Administrators Admit Ansett Staff Will Not Get All Owed

SYDNEY, April 27 Asia Pulse - Ansett administrators say the failed airline's 15,000 former staff will never receive all of the money owed to them.

Melbourne-based administrator KordaMentha said today that a $A28.6 million ($US21.49 million) payment will be made this week - the fifth since the airline's collapse in September 2001.

The latest move brings the total payments made to former employees to $603.6 million.

But employees are owed a total of $760 million and that is unlikely to ever be repayed in full, administrator Mark Korda said today.

"We'll only ever get to about 90 cents in the dollar," Mr Korda told AAP.

Funds for the fifth dividend were raised after $20 million of assets were sold, including an A320 aircraft, the settlement of the Simulator Centre business and the sale of aircraft parts and spares, Mr Korda said.

These sales have taken place since December 2005 and funds were also received from the pooling of AAE, one of the Ansett Group companies.

"The fifth dividend payment is 10 per cent of each employees outstanding entitlements," said Mr Korda.

"It is an average of approximately $1,800 per employee, with some employees receiving more than $18,000."

The dividend consists of $17.3 million to former Ansett employees and $11.3 million to the Federal Government to repay staff entitlements previously paid under a Commonwealth scheme known as the Special Employee Entitlement Scheme for Ansett.

The timing and outcome of current court hearings and required creditors meetings will determine when the sixth dividend can be paid, Mr Korda said.

Ansett was the Australia's second largest airline when it was placed into voluntary administration the day after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US in 2001.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:09 AM   #435
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Qantas sees 2006 profit at lower end of forecasts

SYDNEY, June 21 (Reuters) - Qantas Airways Ltd. said it expected fiscal 2006 pre-tax profit after restructuring costs would be at the lower end of analysts' forecast range of A$670 million to A$895 million ($496 million to $663 million).

Australia's biggest airline also said if fuel prices continued at current levels, it would require further restructuring beyond its current five-year cost-cutting programme that ends in June 2008. ($1=A$1.35)
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 02:22 AM   #436
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Emirates dogs Flying Kangaroo in battle for skies
22 June 2006
The Age

EMIRATES has stepped up its campaign to double flights to Australia, with the message it will be in Australia's national interest and will pose little threat to Qantas' profits.

After holding talks with Transport Minister Warren Truss this week to push for greater access for flights into Australia, Emirates chief executive Tim Clark argued that his carrier had not stolen market share from Qantas but had rather "brought people to Australia who we believe would not have come if our air service was not (here)".

During his visit to Canberra this week, Mr Clark also spent time spruiking Emirates' latest publication, Emirates. A friend of Australia.

"We believe that we haven't done damage to anybody," he said. "We do not believe that we have damaged Qantas.

"In the time we have operated (into Australia) since 1996, Qantas' profitability has grown and grown and grown."

Mr Clark's comments were made about an hour after Qantas issued a profit downgrade yesterday.

He said Emirates' 22 European destinations were stimulating traffic to Australia from areas Qantas did not service.

In an attempt to ease worries over Emirates' share of the aviation market into Australia - which has grown to 6 per cent in the past decade - Mr Clark said he was not asking for an immediate doubling in flights.

Instead, he said it would ask for a phased-in introduction of the additional air rights that would culminate in four daily flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth by 2014.

"We believe this is a phased growth which we believe to be non-confrontational," Mr Clark said.

He argued that Emirates had only taken the crumbs from the Australia-to-London route dominated by Qantas and British Airways.

"We do not believe we pose a threat to either Qantas or British Airways on this arrangement," Mr Clark said.

He said Qantas did well out of Emirates. "Believe me, every punter that comes into Australia (on Emirates) does a minimum of two sectors on Qantas," Mr Clark said.

Qantas chief executive Peter Gregg said Emirates had snared market share from other airlines.

"We don't believe what Emirates is saying is correct," he said. "We believe there's a lot of substitution going on there."
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 08:36 AM   #437
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Qantas 'likely to merge by 2015'

Australian airline Qantas is likely to join with another carrier within five to 10 years, its boss has said.

The comments of Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon came a week after the Australian government said the airline could merge with Singapore Airlines.

Mr Dixon said such an idea was purely hypothetical at this stage, but that an "association" with another airline was needed in the current aviation climate.

He added that any move would see the Qantas name remain.

Mr Dixon said he believed any future merger or association would most likely involve two brands and dual listings.

Qantas is considering a merger due to the tough trading conditions hitting the global airlines, caused in the main by recent sharp increases in the price of aviation fuel.

Competition threat

His comments came as the Australian government continues to consider whether to relax the current rules preventing overseas firms from taking over Qantas.

At present, a foreign airline can only own 25% of Qantas, rising to 35% for a group of overseas carriers.

Mr Dixon said on Sunday that Singapore Airlines would make a good partner, but added that so would other carriers such as British Airways, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand.

Plans for an earlier alliance between Qantas and Air New Zealand fell through in 2003 after it was rejected by the New Zealand government.

Qantas is facing the threat of increased competition on one of its key routes - Sydney to Los Angeles.

At present only it and American carrier United Airlines offer the direct flight between Australia and the US, but the Canberra government is now considering opening up the route.

Singapore Airlines has already applied to fly between Sydney and Los Angeles, and budget carrier Virgin Blue also wants access.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 08:59 AM   #438
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Australia and Singapore cooperate on a number of different things so I wouldn't rule out a merger between SQ and QF. However I was always led to believe that the corporate cultures at both companies are world's apart which would make integration difficult. Also doesn't the Singapore government maintain a large holding in SQ?

I also think NZ would get folded into another carrier at some point in time because if QF doesn't think it would be viable to continue of it's own I can't see how it would be any better for NZ.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 09:16 AM   #439
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Maybe Qantas with a European Carrier? Say: British Airways, Lufthansa... It most probably won't happen, but its an exciting thought! Talk about globalisation. Or maybe EMIRATES
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:42 AM   #440
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id like to see qantas and air new zealand merge.. that would be cool
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