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Slice of Qantas, perhaps? No thanks, says Emirates

May 14, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has ruled out any plans to buy an equity stake in Qantas.

Even if the Australian government lifted the foreign investment restrictions imposed by the Qantas Sales Act 1992, it would make no difference, Sheikh Ahmed told The Australian Financial Review last week.

His comment coincided with the release of figures showing that Qantas had lost international market share steadily over the past 10 years whileCHR_TTR_Banner UK_March14(300x250px) Emirates had progressively increased its share of traffic to and from Australia. See: Emirates triumphs as Qantas International market share fades

Emirates last year displaced Singapore Airlines to become the number two international carrier serving Australia, in terms of passenger numbers.

“As we stated when the partnership began, neither airline is looking to take an equity stake in the other,” Sheikh Ahmed told The Australian Financial Review.

Australia’s Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb met Sheikh Ahmed in Dubai last month during a trade mission and is believed to have mentioned plans to amend the Qantas Sale Act, which aims to ensure Qantas stays in Australian hands by barring any single airline from owning more than 25% of Qantas and any group of airlines from owning more than 35%.

Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party are blocking the legislation.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has said he feels that an airline (not necessarily giant, Dubai-based Emirates) will invest in the Australian carrier if the Qantas Sale Act restrictions are removed.

Written by : Peter Needham

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