QANTAS MAY INCLUDE PACIFIC IN BUDGET CARRIER PLANS

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SYDNEY, Australia (December 11, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---Qantas will soon confirm that it is launching a low-cost international carrier, Australian Airlines, to fly to Asia and Pacific destinations, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Qantas had planned to start the new service beginning next April. But the aviation market's vulnerability since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States convinced its board last week to delay the launch to August, the newspaper reported.

Qantas previously indicated its desire to fly to Tahiti in the Pacific and such Asian destinations as Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Seoul, Sapporo and Fukuoka.

Australian Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary employing up to 8,000 people, will use only one type of aircraft, with economy and super-economy or business class seats. It is likely Boeing 767-200s, with room for 270 passengers, will be bought for the new service.

It believes new aircraft, a lower cost base and a reliance on Internet ticketing can reduce overheads sufficiently to get back into markets where Qantas has not been able to make profits.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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