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Copeland: Air NZ-Qantas cartel bad news all round

Copeland: Air NZ-Qantas cartel bad news all round

The proposed Air New Zealand-Qantas cartel would be bad for the consumer, bad for tourism, bad for competition and is completely unnecessary, United Future's finance spokesman Gordon Copeland said today.

"And I'm very hopeful that the Commerce Commission will find along those lines when its draft findings are released tomorrow," he said.

Qantas and Air NZ are seeking a 22.5 percent stake in Air NZ for Qantas in return for $550 million and the carriers being allowed to co-ordinate their operations under a joint airline operating agreement.

Citing criticism of the cartel proposal by Auckland University economics professor Tim Hazledine, Mr Copeland today asked Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel in Parliament if she could explain why the Commerce Commission allow the consultants working for Air NZ and Qantas to delete key data from the public version of its submission, that rendered independent analysis "unnecessarily difficult and imprecise".

"I have long believed that the deal is bad for New Zealand. We all know that's true. It's got to be dumped tomorrow," Mr Copeland said.

"This thing must never fly in New Zealand skies," he said.

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