Qantas sets its sites on Sydney airport sale

The planned sale of Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport (KSA) has attracted the attention of Qantas Airways Ltd who has requested the Federal Government lift regulatory restriction so it can buy up to 25 per cent of the airport. At present, regulation caps on airline's ownership of an airport sits at 5 per cent but Qantas says it has had preliminary talks with government officials in a bid to increase this. Analysts believe that the motive behind Qantas's interest in KSA is a concern that rival Singapore Airlines may have influence over KSA in the future should Singapore Changi Airport take an equity stake in KSA. The Singapore Government controlls both Singapore Airlines and Changi Airport with the latter taking an 8 per cent stake in Auckland International Airport last year. The Federal Government is not expected to lift regulatory restriction as a move to do so would create a strong backlash from other airlines.

‘Qantas eyes Sydney airport investment', The Australian Financial Review, 20/12/00, p 3.