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Kiwi travellers triumph as Government deal crashes

Kiwi travellers triumph as Government deal crashes

Competition watchdogs have delivered the Government a slap in the face by rejecting the Air New Zealand /Qantas merger, according to National Party Leader Bill English.

"It's the triumph for travellers we always knew we'd get," says Mr English.

"The deal was never going to pass competition regulations on either side of the Tasman.

"The Government has either been fooling itself or misleading the public if it ever thought this deal would get through.

"The Commission says every major market for Air New Zealand would be detrimentally affected.

"It's clear the Commission has treated Air New Zealand and Qantas as if they would be one company under this deal, that's why it would be so bad for competition and for travellers.

"It was never going to be in the national interest for Air New Zealand to merge with its fiercest rival, no matter how hard the Government argued.

"The Commerce Commission has found that if it went ahead, the proposal would cost New Zealand as much as $400 million a year," says Mr English.

"It goes on to say New Zealand exporters, importers and consumers would all be big losers," Mr English says.

"It's incredible that the Government could ever have believed that this merger would be in the national interest and now the Australian competition watchdog agrees.

"The deal was fundamentally flawed from the start and now it's looking increasingly likely it could fall over altogether," he says.

"The Government has already wasted far too much time trying to patch together the Qantas proposal, when what the public wants is more choice - not less.

"The National Party believes the Government needs to scrap this plan and consider other options," Mr English says.

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