Abbott hints at Qantas foreign ownership change

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, has suggested he could support lifting foreign-ownership restrictions on the national airline, Qantas. The airline earlier this month announced plans to axe about 1000 jobs over the next 12 months and says strict foreign ownership rules are making it hard to compete with Virgin Airlines. Mr Abbott has previously ruled out providing subsidies to Qantas, and says his government will not guarantee its debt, but says it's not unreasonable of the airline to seek legislative change. The Qantas Sale Act limits foreign ownership of the airline to 49%, the ABC reports. Shares in the airline hit a record low last week, shortly after the airline's credit rating was downgraded to junk status by Standard and Poor's following a $A300 million half-year loss. The global ratings agency noted that Qantas had embarked on a $2 billion cost-cutting programme but said the benefits would take time to realise and the strategy was unlikely to offset the cyclical and structural headwinds facing the airline.

No comments:

Post a Comment