Air fares to rise Down Under

18 May 2001 SYDNEY - The airfare war in Australia is all but over following a decision to give a green light to Qantas to launch a partnership with low-cost operator, Impulse Airlines.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not oppose the relationship, but concedes it is bad for consumers. Rivals Ansett and Virgin Blue - who have also been talking to each other about a possible partnership - contested the move by Qantas.

Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon said: "Today's decision means Qantas will provide improved regional and leisure services in Australia. We will continue to offer a wide range of discount fares although, as we have said, some of the very low fares offered recently are not sustainable."

The final commercial relationship between Qantas and Impulse will involve Impulse contracting to Qantas its eight Boeing 717 and 13 Beechcraft aircraft, complete with pilots, cabin crew and engineers.

Impulse will operate Boeing 717 services for Qantas, under the QantasLink brand and livery, to primarily leisure destinations.

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