Loading...
See More

Etihad chief blasts Qantas tactics

Jul 20 2012 08:32 AFP

Related Articles

Qantas to slash jobs, cut costs

Qantas pushes on with Asian premium airline

Grounding hurts Qantas profit

Qantas flights set to resume

Qantas stuns with high-stakes gambit

Qantas chief slams pro-Australia laws

 

Sydney - Etihad Airways chief James Hogan on Friday pledged the Abu Dhabi-based carrier will never seek control of Virgin Australia and hit out at Qantas's tactics to undermine his airline.

Etihad has built its holding in Virgin over recent months to 4.9% and on Thursday won approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board to boost the stake to 10%.

Virgin is Qantas's key domestic Australian competitor and last month the "Flying Kangaroo" reportedly warned the government it could "go under" if Etihad was allowed a greater stake in its rival.

Qantas executives fear Etihad, which is owned by the government of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, could bankroll a major attack on the lucrative domestic market via Virgin.

According to The Australian, Qantas has portrayed Etihad as a plaything for oil-rich sheiks in a lobbying campaign against it.

Hogan, who is Australian, said it was a Qantas ploy to distract from its own failings.

"It is a great shame the business (Qantas) has used this as a tactic," he told the newspaper.

"The UAE has a great relationship with Australia in trade, defence and in a whole range of areas.

"In other markets, we have not seen these sorts of reactions from national carriers. To see it being used to mask their own real issues is disappointing."

Qantas had no immediate response.

The airline is struggling with soaring fuel costs and worsening global conditions and recently warned its underlying profit before tax was expected to drop from Aus$552m ($574m) last year to Aus$50-100m.

The airline, which was privatised in 1995, is primarily losing money on its international routes and believes it is being undercut by state-owned operations such as Etihad and Singapore Airlines.

Hogan said Etihad's investment in Virgin was aimed at improving co-operation on routes and networks and to create better economies of scale, similar to what it was doing with Air Berlin and Ireland's Aer Lingus.

He told the newspaper any claim that Etihad planned to take control of Virgin to challenge Qantas was ridiculous.

"What we won't do is get into a position where it means we take control of the business," he said.

"We can't run an Australian airline from Abu Dhabi, nor do we intend to."

Virgin Australia's current major shareholder is Richard Branson's Virgin Group, which has 26% holding.

etihad airways  |  qantas
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

Retailers of any shape and size can now unlock the power of mobile transacting.
 
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...