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Urgent Action Needed On Major Air Travel Issues

Urgent Action Needed On Two Major Air Travel Issues

Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley says the Government must act swiftly to address the two major issues endangering our air travel networks.

"Cabinet today must take whatever regulatory, ownership or investment decisions are necessary to allow the Australian based Qantas to step into the gap in our domestic air market created by the collapse of its locally owned franchise holder. Competition on New Zealand's domestic routes must be maintained.

"At the same time the Government must do everything it can to avoid Qantas simply coming in and picking the eyes out of the main routes. Cabinet must not lose sight of the fact that New Zealand domestic travellers need a strong competitor on both main routes and provincial routes.

The other pressing issue involves the intense financial pressure on Air New Zealand resulting from the grounding of the 767s in its Ansett Australia fleet.

"Under the current law there is a 24.9 percent ceiling on the amount of foreign investment permitted in Air New Zealand. The Government can't just stand by and allow that outdated rule to imperil the viability of Air New Zealand.

"Air New Zealand is seeking a waiver on the limitation of foreign investment, so that Singapore Air can take a larger shareholding. The Government must move quickly to allow that," Jenny Shipley said.

Ends


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