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Qantas Has Its Cake And Eats It

Qantas Has Its Cake And Eats It

Ersatz competition under "tight regulation" will suit Qantas just fine, ACT New Zealand Associate Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Labour Ministers' obvious encouragement will bring Australian-style inefficiencies and airline profiteering to NZ. It will, no doubt, earn Labour the valuable gratitude of union comrades, but New Zealand passengers will pay the price in Aussie-sized domestic airfares.

"It's no wonder Andrew Little of the Engineers Union has been a long-term proponent of the dingo plan. In the short-term, the elimination of real competition will allow Air New Zealand to pay staff more - at passengers' expense. Unions always find it easier to do cosy deals with monopolies.

"But, in the long term, staff job satisfaction and pride will suffer. They'll suffer being patronised by Aussie bosses, and know that - no matter how well the New Zealand teams perform - they'll never be allowed to expand into any market that might show Qantas up. Reputations and morale grow from showing you're the best - how can they be maintained when you are not allowed to show it?

"This development, and the Government's obvious "we know nothing" collusion, is the springing of the trap set several years ago when Michael Cullen stifled the Singapore plan. Now Qantas gets what it wanted - the board seats they need to knobble Air NZ at a fraction of the previous price, with $800 million of New Zealand taxpayers' money thrown in as icing on the Qantas cake," Mr Franks said.

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