No lifeline for Qantas: Emirates

Emirates president Tim Clark said he is carefully watching developments at alliance partner Qantas, but ruled out throwing a financial lifeline to the embattled Australian flag carrier, in comments reported on Monday.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 17 Dec 2013, 1:18 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:26 AM

Earlier this month, Qantas forecast a half-year loss of up to $269 million and said it would axe 1,000 jobs, leading to a credit downgrade from Standard & Poor’s, which cut its rating to “junk” status.

Qantas blamed its predicament on record fuel costs and fierce competition from subsidised rivals, particularly Virgin Australia, which is majority owned by Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.

Chief Alan Joyce has been lobbying the government to relax the Qantas Sale Act, which limits foreign ownership in the national carrier to 49 per cent, arguing the cap hurts its ability to compete, particularly against Virgin Australia. But even if the government decides to lift the foreign ownership restrictions, which it has indicated is possible, Clark said he would not be pumping in any cash.

In an e-mailed statement to the West Australian newspaper, Clark said he “would watch it [the situation] carefully” but Emirates did not have the “bottomless pit of cash” Virgin Australia’s partner Etihad Airways had.

“So no, equity is not on the table,” Clark said.

More news from Aviation