17 Dec 2009

Ownership rules changed for Qantas

7:05 am on 17 December 2009

The Australian Government plans to scrap some foreign-ownership rules for Qantas, to help the airline play a bigger role in the consolidation of the global airline industry.

It plans to remove a 25% restriction on individual foreign investors in Qantas, and also drop a 35% cap for total foreign airline holdings.

Qantas is still seen as a strategic asset for Australia, but it is keen to explore partners, especially in Asia, as airlines consolidate in response to global recession, falling demand and mounting losses.

Under the new policy, the government will also allow 100% foreign ownership of domestic airlines, subject to normal reviews.

It will also offer foreign airlines unlimited access to secondary airports, including those in tropical tourist spots such as Cairns, Broome and Darwin.