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Copeland: Oz decision good for Air NZ

Media Statement

For immediate release

Tuesday, 9 September 2003

Copeland: Oz decision good for Air NZ

United Future finance spokesman Gordon Copeland says the Australian competition watchdog's decision to reject the proposed alliance of Qantas and Air New Zealand is great news for the Kiwi airline and New Zealand travellers.

"From the outset, I saw this plan as anti-competitive and nothing I have heard since has convinced me otherwise," he said.

"I have observed before that in business, as in sport, the Aussies play hardball and it would be naïve of us to think that a Qantas with a significant stake in Air New Zealand would have spent much time promoting the interests of New Zealand.

"Air New Zealand's current managers have already shown over recent months that they are perfectly capable of running an efficient and profitable national and international airline. Today's decision frees them to get on with being smarter and more business-savvy than Qantas."

Mr Copeland said he was sure the New Zealand Commerce Commission would pay considerable heed to the decision by the ACCC.

Ends.

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