Regions

PM Tony Abbott says Australia may acquire stake in Qantas

December 2
4:20 AM 2013

Qantas might not want the government to hold a share in the company. However, Prime Minister Tony Abbott did not rule out Australia's investment in the national airline, News.com.au reported.

The country's laws limit foreign ownership of a company to a maximum of 49%. These laws prevent Qantas from being at par with better-financed competitors such as Virgin. The said laws also prevent the troubled airline from getting a fresh injection of capital from overseas sources, the report explained.

Abbott said, "Obviously as citizens we'd like to see the flying kangaroo flourish but our principal role as the government is to ensure that we've got a strong and competitive aviation sector so that Australians have access to the kind of aviation services at the right price that they've come to expect."

According to a survey conducted by the Australian International Pilots Association last year, around 52% of voters want the government to intervene to help Qantas keep up with its competitors. Still, Prime Minister Abbott said a community debate was still needed in the situation, according to News.com.au.

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