22 Feb 2006

Singapore Transport Min: Australia Takes Ties For Granted

Hmm... expect more aviation drama in time to come. Sounds more like a subtle warning doesn't it?
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SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--Singapore Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong has attacked Australia's decision to block Singapore Airlines Ltd. (S55.SG) from the Sydney-Los Angeles route, saying Canberra is taking warm bilateral ties with the city-state for granted.

The Australian government Tuesday rejected SIA's application to fly the lucrative route between Australia and the U.S. West Coast and signaled the decision will stand for several more years. SIA has been seeking access to the route, which is dominated by Australian flag carrier Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN.AU), for a decade.

"I have always held Australia in high regard as a close bilateral partner. Thus, I am naturally very disappointed with this decision, especially after more than 10 years of protracted discussions," Yeo said in a statement released late Tuesday evening.

"Singapore has also been more than generous in facilitating the growth of Australian carriers to and beyond Singapore.

"It is disheartening to see that they have taken this and the warmth in our bilateral relationship for granted," he said.

Echoing Yeo's comments, the Ministry of Transport said the decision is inconsistent with many signals from Australian leaders in past discussions that the issue would be resolved within a reasonable timeframe.

The ministry said Singapore has "more than fulfilled" its commitment to open skies with Australia by granting fifth freedom traffic rights to Australian carriers.

Fifth freedom rights allow an airline to take passengers to one destination where more passengers can be picked up before flying on to another location.

Granting these rights has allowed Qantas to grow its operations in Singapore to be second only to its home base, while Jetstar Asia, which is part owned by Qantas, also operates out of Singapore in competition with local carriers, the ministry said.

"It would seem these benefits which Australia is enjoying have been taken for granted."

11 comments:

soci said...

Fall out from 2nd December 2005 possibly?

Anonymous said...

Is it now time for the PAP to stop the murder of australian drug offenders !

Anonymous said...

tiger airways will soon been the only low cost airline here, and air asia the only competitor

Anonymous said...

Just as late DPM Rajaratnam said: we must put our social morality on par with individual morality".

Umm.......otherwise, sg will have to live on air to survive, ho ho ho!!!

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to think this was a reaction to Dec 2nd ,but of cource the Aus Gov is as commited to the holy $ as the PAP or am I just being cynicle

Anonymous said...

nice to see the aussies taking a stand...and its pretty easy to see here that SQ and Singapore are feeling like sore losers..after all, 10 years of hard work for nothing!..dont forget, the aussie airlines dont owe singapore anything, especially with the major competition in airports now in SE asia, i.e. KL, BKK...
I think Mr Yeo is feeling the heat.

mister k said...

yeah possibly a fallout from 2nd Dec. the belated boycott eh

rench00 said...

no la... i really don't think this has anything to do with Nguyen. it's more to do with 'safeguarding' strategic interests, protectionism, etc etc.

Anonymous said...

singapore is just behaving like a bloody bitch...expecting australia to respect that our national interests come first with regard to the nguyen hanging (killing off another country's citizen no less), yet at the same time wanting australia to succumb to pressure and resorting to sour-grape bitching just becos they don't do things to our benefit as we want. if such arrogant attitudes (in addition to kiasuism, selfishness, ugly-s'poreanism) continue, we'll just end up really being outcast like an insignificant booger!

Anonymous said...

missing the point; qantus can go between SG and Europe, so SG wants to be able to go between AU and USA; however, SG cannot retaliate by taking away Qantus rights since it can use some other SEA air hub instead; SG will have to be imaginative; my guess is Jetways will be the victim

clyde said...

That's true... In terms of air travel routes, SG is not the most competitive of locations because of so many other surrounding countries offering relatively equal 'stop-over' routes. SIA really doesn't have much bargaining power on this, and I certainly hope they're not counting on their "10-year effort" to get the deal. Are they expecting some sort of sympathy decision in their favour?