10 Jun 2004

Australia proposes regional airline re-think

1:45 pm on 10 June 2004

Australia's treasurer, Peter Costello, says the solution to the Pacific's transport problems may be to provide airlines with subsidies to encourage them to fly unprofitable routes.

Mr Costello says the just-completed Pacific Economic Ministers Meeting in Rotorua was a positive meeting of minds and views.

Don Wiseman reports.

"Mr Costello says there has been a great deal of common ground on issues such as the need for improved governance, cooperation and institutional reform. The Australian treasurer presented the ministers with Canberra's assessment of what might be done about the regions poor sea and air links. He says there are too many struggling airlines in the region and rationalisation is needed. He says subsidising major airlines on unpopular routes could be the solution. In Rotorua, I'm Don Wiseman."