Canberra (Australia), Feb.6 (ANI): Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said a proposed legislation forcing Qantas to maintain its base in Australia and perform the majority of heavy aircraft maintenance and training at home, would seriously threaten the airline's future.
Joyce told a parliamentary hearing this morning that he held "grave fears" for Qantas' future if amendments to the Qantas Sale Act come into effect.
South Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has introduced draft laws requiring Qantas' main operation centre be located in Australia.
According to the Daily Telegraph, under Senator Xenophon's proposed amendments, the majority of heavy maintenance of aircraft, flight operations and Qantas training would have to be conducted in Australia.
Joyce said the legislation proposed "would constitute a major threat to our business, to Australian jobs in the cities and regions, to investment and to growth".
"The Qantas Sale Act amendments go way beyond the original aims of the legislation, and would strangle our capacity to run our business," he added.
"We all know that the primary purpose of the Qantas Sale Act was to ensure that Qantas remained a majority Australian-owned flag carrier while pursuing its destiny as a non-government company running its own business and answering to its shareholders.
"That outcome meant Australian taxpayers had all the benefits of a national airline without bearing the cost."
Joyce said the amendments would not increase protection for Qantas.
"They would not make us more Australian. They would not save or grow Australian jobs. They would have the opposite effect," he said.
Joyce also said Qantas might be forced to sell Jetstar, because Jetstar could not afford to conduct the majority of its heavy maintenance in Australia.
Joyce also warned the amendments would force Qantas to withdraw from services connecting Darwin and Cairns to international destinations, including Asia and Europe.
"The impact on regional tourism and development would be immediate and negative," he said. (ANI)
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