07/11/2005 - 08:10

Emirates claims Qantas is anti-competitive

07/11/2005 - 08:10

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Dubai-based Emirates Airline has hit back at calls to stop it gaining additonal flights into Australia by the nation's only international carrier Qantas.


Dubai-based Emirates Airline has hit back at calls to stop it gaining additonal flights into Australia by the nation's only international carrier Qantas.

Emirates claimed Qantas needs is opposed to competition and its associated benefits of lower prices, customer choice and economic growth.
Emirates said it was not subsidised and operates as a fully open, audited and commercial
international business.

In an announcement, the Middle eastern airline said:

"Lately Qantas has tried to stop, at all costs, competition on one of the world's most protected routes
- Australia to the US - and now they want to stop further competition on arguably Australia's most
important routes to greater Europe, the Middle East and Africa," the Vice Chairman and Group
President of Emirates, Mr Maurice Flanagan said today.
Mr Flanagan said Qantas' calls last week to stop further competition on the Australia to Europe and
the Middle East routes requested by Emirates would hurt inbound tourism and investment.
"Their calls for protection belong in another era. Qantas needs to accept that government protection
is the most powerful subsidy of them all.
"In contrast, Emirates receives no subsidies nor any aero political protection."
Emirates, which employs over 1000 Australians, said Qantas faced medium-level competition on
only one of its routes, London Heathrow, and as a result prices were competitive on that route.
"Everywhere else there is evidence Qantas is one of the world's most anti-competitive airlines and
customers are paying higher prices as a result.
"When Qantas argues against competition from Emirates, they are arguing for higher prices. It is
time they were challenged on this," Mr Flanagan said.
"Qantas clearly does not understand Emirates' business, which is to grow the Australian market via
routes beyond Qantas' very narrow international services. Qantas has a focus only on London
Heathrow. Emirates has grown with the Australian market because we fly to cities Qantas is intent
to ignore, such as Dubai, Manchester, Rome, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Glasgow, Zurich,
Birmingham, Nice, Milan, Athens, Düsseldorf and many others including Emirates' numerous
African destinations.
"As Emirates has said many times before, Qantas is welcome to fly to Dubai, whose door is wide
open to them, along with on-flights to Emirates many European and African routes."
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Mr Flanagan said: "Their anti-competitive strategies are a disturbing trend. When offered,
Australians have embraced competition vigorously and the Australian economy is a liberal and
competitive one. But growth and competition in the aviation sector is thwarted by Qantas at every
turn, which costs Australian jobs, growth, investment and exports."
Emirates said there was significant evidence that Qantas was one of the world's most anticompetitive
airlines, including:
q Their position and defence of opening up new markets such as the Pacific (Australia-US).
q Anti competitive public comments or requests for protection against Emirates, Singapore
Airlines and many other airlines.
q On the US route, load factors for Qantas exceeded 90 per cent in the latest available monthly
statistics for the month of July.
q Only 34 international carriers operated out of Australia's largest airport, Sydney (the Qantas
hub), compared to Dubai's 107 international airlines or Singapore's 81 international airlines or
Hong Kong's 69 international airlines.
q That routes where Qantas has successfully thwarted competition, airfares were significantly
higher than other sectors. An example is South Africa and the US where seat costs per kilometre
were higher than routes such as London Heathrow.
Emirates said Qantas, one of the most profitable airlines in the world, had to do more than promote
myths or distortions about competitors and instead answer the fundamental question of how they
justify their anti-competitive stance.
Ends

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