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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, August 30, 2001

Qantas plans new discount airline

Associated Press

SYDNEY, Australia — Australia's biggest airline, Qantas, said Thursday its proposed discount international airline, Australian Airlines, is expected to start operating on routes to Asia next year.

Qantas executive general manager for marketing, Denis Adams, has been named chief executive of the proposed new carrier.

"We expect Australian Airlines to begin operating in the second half of 2002, initially flying routes into Asia," said Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon.

Dixon said the no-frills airline would also take over some current unprofitable Qantas routes from which Qantas intended to withdraw over the next six months.

He said that Adams would be joined by a small team from Qantas to begin initial preparations for the airline's start up.

"We will work with the relevant authorities to obtain an airline operating certificate, as well as approvals for traffic rights and the Australian Airlines route structure," he said.

Dixon said he believed the new carrier had ``very promising'' long term growth prospects.