Emirates turns Qantas down

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December 15, 2013

Emirates, Qantas’s new alliance partner has dismissed a stake in the besieged Australian icon dashing hopes of a quick equity fix to its financial woes.

Over the weekend the Prime Minister Tony Abbott flagged that he would consider relaxing the Qantas Sale Act lifting caps on foreign ownership.

But yesterday Emirates President Tim Clark said in an email response to The West Australian that while the airline “will watch it [the situation] carefully” it didn’t have the “bottomless pit of cash” that Virgin Australia’s partner Etihad Airways has.

“So no, equity is not on the table,” Mr Clark said.

The Emirates chief is considered the world’s most astute airline leader and has been the driving force behind the airline’s unprecedented expansion.

Emirates is the world’s largest international airline.

Qantas is lobbying the government to help it in its fight with Virgin Australia, which is backed by three major airlines – Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways.

Virgin, which rebranded itself and launched into the domestic business class market two years ago is savaging Qantas’s once corporate monopoly.

While Virgin is raising $350 million through its foreign partners Qantas has forecast a record $300 million loss for the six months to December 31 and its investment rating has been downgraded to junk status.

Qantas and Virgin blame each other for the fare war.

The white kangaroo claims the once low cost airline is muscling in on its 65 per cent domestic market share strategy while Virgin argues Qantas has no right to such a large slice of the market.

Both airlines are pouring on capacity and are locked in a seemingly endless fare war for both economy and business passengers.