Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Australia denies Singapore Air

Australia denies Singapore Air entry to U.S. air route - Feb. 21, 2006: "Australia rejected a bid by Singapore Airlines to fly the lucrative route between Australia and the United States, but urged its Qantas Airways Ltd. to consider merging with its Singapore rival.

Transport Minister Warren Truss said the government also rejected a push by Qantas to raise a 49 percent foreign investment ceiling that restricts single foreign investors to 25 percent and foreign airlines to a 35 percent stake.

The Singapore airline, facing increased competition in Asia from more than a dozen low-cost airlines, said it was disappointed by the decision, which it said was designed to protect Qantas from competition on money-spinning Sydney-Los Angeles flights.

Australian discount carrier Virgin Blue also wants access to the route, which is currently only open to Qantas, Australia's largest airline, and UAL Corp.'s (Research) United Airlines."

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