Qantas is reportedly in negotiations with the Fijian government to buy out its AUD70 million stake in Air Pacific, Fiji’s national carrier (The Australian/FijiLive, 02-Jul-2011). Qantas has recommended Fiji cancel new aircraft orders; sell and lease-back aircraft; refinance an aircraft hangar; and sell the Sofitel Hotel on Fiji's Denarau Island to fund the acquisition of Qantas’ 46.3% stake.
Qantas in talks with Fiji over Air Pacific stake
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South Pacific aviation markets will be defined by China’s expansion
The nature of the South Pacific's geography makes finding the right partners for its airlines essential for their survival in international long haul markets – as most are.
The region is characterised by relatively liberal access regimes and by partnerships of varying levels – in New Zealand especially, where Air New Zealand’s international network is dominated by JVs. Virgin Australia has built a ‘virtual alliance’ alongside HNA, Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Delta, with very little of its own metal flying outside Australia. At Qantas Group, international performance has improved markedly following its Emirates partnership, as its operating focus has shifted from Europe toward Asia and North America, with local JVs, and close partnerships with American Airlines and China Eastern continuing to grow and mature.
For all airlines in the region, the China market will define much of the growth over the coming decade. (This report is taken from the Jul/Aug-2016 issue of CAPA's Airline Leader)
Coming to terms with the disruptors
Within the context of global aviation disruption, Emirates and its low cost long haul-to-long haul model is right at the top of the tree. For years, as Emirates grew rapidly in Australia, Qantas railed at the government’s liberalisation of the UAE bilateral agreements, arguing this seriously undermined the flag carrier’s economics. Added to the longstanding impact of Asian airlines’ sixth freedom dilution of Qantas’ Europe traffic, Emirates effectively spelled the end of any long term aspirations to serve Europe effectively.