Qantas eyes Air NZ for takeover

Qantas has revealed plans to take control of Air New Zealand in a plan that would see the New Zealand carrier divested of its ownership of Ansett Airlines (perhaps to Singapore Airlines).

The deal is aimed at creating one Australasian international carrier which would have repercussions for air travellers on both sides of the Tasman, especially within New Zealand.

However, such a merger would need to clear many hurdles before proceeding and at this stage we can only speculate over how things might pan out. To be allowed to proceed, any deal would have to let Qantas and Ansett continue to operate independently in Australia while Singapore Airlines' stake in Virgin Blue would also have to be considered in light of domestic air competition if it were to buy Ansett.

FlightChoice will keep you informed as to the likely impact on domestic and trans-Tasman airfares.