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Air NZ/Qantas decision a bad call, says union

October 23, 2003
Media Release

Air NZ/Qantas decision a bad call, says union

Today’s Commerce Commission announcement that it will not approve an Air New Zealand/Qantas alliance is disappointing, says the country’s largest trade union.

The EPMU, which represents 2,500 workers at Air New Zealand, supported the proposal for Qantas to take a 22.5% stake in the New Zealand airline and for the two to form a “strategic alliance.”

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that the commission had evaluated the proposal solely on the basis of its effect on competition.

“We do not believe that there is room for three major airlines to operate in this market,” Mr Little said.

“Leaving Air New Zealand, Qantas and Pacific Blue to fight it out is condemning on of them to a race to the bottom.

“We hope it won’t be Air New Zealand, and that we won’t be saying ‘we told you so’ in a few years’ time.”

The union made submissions to the Commerce Commission in support of the proposal, providing that promises of extra engineering jobs for New Zealand were honoured.

Ends

A copy of the union’s submission to the Commerce Commission can be found on www.epmu.org.nz

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