Restrictions on foreign ownership of Qantas could be lifted in a move that Prime Minister Tony Abbott thinks would put the airline in a better position.
Despite the government’s lack of guarantee to bail out the airline, Abbott told The Australian Financial Review that it was not an “unreasonable” request and it would put the struggling airline a level playing field, reducing the need for ongoing government intervention.
“Where we can be helpful we will certainly try to be helpful but as I understand it, what Qantas wants is to be unshackled.
“They want to be able to compete with Virgin on a level playing field and that ultimately means that changes to the legislative environment in which they operate,” the Prime Minister told The AFR.
Shares in the airline hit a record low last week, after it’s credit rating was downgraded to “junk” status by Standard and Poor’s following a $300 million half-year loss.
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