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Tourism Australia backs chief in Qantas row

Published on Nov 29, 2012 3:37 PM
In a file picture taken on Aug 22, 2012, a boxing kangaroo design is displayed on the tail of a Qantas plane at the Sydney International Airport. Qantas Airways on Nov 28, 2012 severed a lucrative marketing deal with Tourism Australia after claiming its boss was leading a consortium trying to unseat the airline's management and buy out the company. AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's official tourism agency on Thursday threw its full support behind its boss Geoff Dixon despite claims by national carrier Qantas that he is trying to unseat the airline's management.

Mr Dixon ran Qantas from 2001 until 2008 when current chief Alan Joyce took over, and their relationship has descended into a bitter feud over the direction the airline is taking.

On Wednesday Qantas severed its 40-year relationship with Tourism Australia, cancelling a A$50 million (S$63 million) deal, "due to a potential conflict of interest of the agency's chairman".

It claimed Mr Dixon was a member of a syndicate "committed to unravelling Qantas' structure and direction".

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