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1279shp
30th Jun 2005, 09:19
Singapore Airlines and its Australian rival Qantas should be open to a merger, Singapore state media quoted a government minister as saying on Wednesday.

The comments by Singapore Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong come after Australia's government issued a thinly veiled invitation to Singapore Air to consider a merger with Qantas by signalling it would remove a foreign ownership cap on Qantas.

Ownership of Qantas is currently limited to 25 percent for a single airline, 35 percent for a group of airlines and 49 percent for all foreign shareholders.

Singapore Air is 57 percent state-owned.

"It's useful for the two companies to keep all options open, which includes joining in the consolidation process. I think there is a consolidation process going on, on a worldwide basis," Singapore state-controlled broadcaster Channel NewsAsia quoted Yeow as saying.

"It's to be expected that both SIA and Qantas need to be thinking of what they need to do to remain one of the key players in the global aviation sector," he said.

Last Sunday, Qantas Chief Executive Geoff Dixon played down merger suggestions but said Australia's largest airline was likely to have an "association" with another airline in five to 10 years.

The merger talk was triggered by Australia's decision earlier this month not to grant Singapore Air access to the lucrative Sydney-Los Angeles route.

Channel News Asia quoted Transport Minister Yeow as saying that Singapore would continue to try to persuade Australia to open up its trans-Pacific air route to Singapore Air.

(Reuters) :uhoh:

pullock
30th Jun 2005, 18:28
Um, havn't we seen enough of big business and government departments merging and becoming less efficient both in terms of economics and service provision?

What a stupid idea.

TIMMEEEE
30th Jun 2005, 21:46
Just ask those expats that have worked for the Singaporeans and I think you will find that they wont be too flattering about them.

I do believe however that they will end up buying a chunk of QF at some stage in the future.

They publicly state that they want a share of QF, then deny it vehemently when things dont go their way, then suggest it may be a future possibility and now this article.

THey just sound a little too untrustworthy to me.