Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has made a stand against Qantas receiving government assistance, writing a full-page advert published in yesterday’s newspapers outlining why funding would hurt future investments in Australia.
He said a financial prop-up would “severely damage competition in Australia, encourage others to ask for handouts and companies worldwide would think twice before investing in Australia.”
Branson’s letter comes after Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week suggested that the Federal Government is considering lifting the Qantas Sale Act which prevents more than 49% foreign ownership in the national carrier.
A Qantas spokesman responded to Branson’s letter saying, “There’s widespread agreement that Qantas is at a disadvantage because of current policy settings.
“We’ve said many times we don’t want a handout – what we want is fair fight, which is very much in the best interests of the travelling public.”
Branson said he isn’t concern what happens to the Qantas Sale Act but returning Qantas “their monopoly” would be a mistake.
“For the sake of true competition Qantas should not be granted further special privileges over all its competitors.”
The Guardian and The Australian has more.
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