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Qantas, MAS talks over new premium airline falter
Sim Kok Chwee, Singapore, March 9, 2012

TALKS between Qantas Airways and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to create a premium joint-venture airline based in Kuala Lumpur have fallen through.


Qantas' CEO Alan Joyce said it was "due to both parties being unable to reach mutually agreeable commercial terms".


Joyce had previously branded this joint venture as a pivotal component of the recovery he sought for Qantas’ international operations, a move that was vehemently opposed by the unions.


In a statement issued today, Joyce emphasised that Asia remained a priority for the Sydney-based Qantas and the group would continue to explore opportunities in the region involving “capital-lite” investment, in view of the prevailing economic uncertainty and the need for Qantas to stem international losses.


Qantas was the sponsor for MAS' entry into the oneworld alliance.


Qantas’ quest to set up a joint-venture airline in Asia began two years ago, with Singapore being most favoured for its extensive connections that also included Qantas, Jetstar and Jetstar Asia flights. Since talks with Singapore authorities were abruptly broken off in 2011, Joyce and his team turned to Kuala Lumpur for negotiations.

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