Taken from ABC News Online:
Last Update: Thursday, January 20, 2005. 7:00am (AEDT)
Singapore Airlines close to trans-Pacific access
Federal Transport Minister John Anderson says the Government is likely to open the lucrative trans-Pacific route to Singapore Airlines
Qantas currently controls the route which connects Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with Los Angeles.
For years Singapore Airlines has wanted to enter the market and next month members of the Singapore Government will meet Australian officials to push the case.
Mr Anderson told the ABC's 7:30 Report it is not unreasonable that a decision could be made within six months.
"It would be my view that Cabinet would be of a mind to look seriously at some access," Mr Anderson said.
Qantas is desperate to keep Singapore Airlines off the route.
Qantas boss Geoff Dixon says there is a long way to go before there are any changes.
"There's a lot of things before that probably happens, but obviously the minister knows more about what cabinet might do than I would," he said.
Further, The Air Asia Chief, Tony Fernandes at an Asia-Pacific travel conference yesterday hit SIA for double standards about wanting to fly Australia-USA and said he was "250% with Geoff on this issue".
He claimed that Singapore had blocked his Airline from getting more passengers from Singapore to the Malaysian border town of Johor Bahru to fly them out from the airport, thus not giving him a level playing field.
I found his comments rather baffling since it is the Singapore govt and not SIA that decides such things.
Further, the Singapore govt's investment arm Temasek Holdings invested minority stakes in 2 airlines operating out of Changi, putting them in direct competition with SIA and allowed a third private airline, Valuair, to operate from Changi also in competition with SIA.
Also, I wonder why Fernandes says he is 250% with Geoff when Geoff started Jetstar Asia based in Singapore to compete directly with Tony Fernandes' Air Asia! A case of my enemy's enemy is my friend?
Off the record, Singapore-Perth return fares are now at a record low of $288 Singapore dollars (or $240 Australian dollars) on SIA, valid for booking till March 31st. All in response to immense competition ex Changi. If the govt wanted to protect SIA and their yields, they could ban Valuair, Tiger Airways, jetstar asia and Air Asia from flying out of Singapore, just as Dubai Airport prevented the entry of LCCs to compete with EK