This article in www.7days.ae
Tuesday, 08 November 2005
Dubai-based airline Emirates has accused Qantas of being one of the world’s most “anti- competitive airlines”.
Emirates vice chairman and group president Maurice Flanagan made the comments while discussing Qantas’ objection to Emirates’ bid to double its flights to Australia to 84 a week.
Australia is Emirates’ third most profitable market after Dubai and Britain. The Australian government is reviewing its overall transport policy.
Qantas chairperson Margaret Jackson has claimed that Emirates already had an unfair advantage because it was government-owned and its chairman is a member of Dubai’s ruling family and head of the emirate’s civil aviation authority.
But Flanagan said Qantas faced medium-level competition on only one of its routes, to London Heathrow, and that as a result prices on the route were competitive.
“When Qantas argues against competition from Emirates, they are arguing for higher prices. It is time they were challenged on this,” he said.
Qantas is already under fire from Singapore for perceived protectionism after objecting to Singapore Airlines’ bid for access to the lucrative trans-Pacific route between the US and Australia.
Flanagan has addressed the Australian airline directly saying: “Qantas needs to accept that government protection is the most powerful subsidy of them all.”
The calls for protection by Qantas have been criticised as belonging to another era and prolonging high prices on many of the routes out of Australia to the US, Middle East and Europe by Flanagan.